Major Childs describes the return of a pony to Abraham's son
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War is often described as a brutalizing experience, but its humanizing effects can be heard in Major Childs' letters to his family, including this letter to his son, describing
how Abraham recovered a pony that his own son had lost. The letter is dated March 12,
"My Dear Boy:
"A great big negro, named Abraham, called to see me, the day before yesterday. He has been the terror of the white people, for the last year; no action was complete unless Abraham was reported to be in it, with his big gun. He brought with him his son, a little boy about six years of age; and a beautiful boy he is. He had hardly ever seen a white person before. They slept in a tent, next to mine. We have to treat them with great consideration, for fear they will not come in. The little boy had a beautiful pony, which his father gave him; such a one as I should like to bring you. It was captured, with a great many others, when we were at To-ho-pe-ka-li-ka. One of the officers stationed here, had it. When the little black boy saw it, he began to cry; his father told the officer what he was crying for, so the officer gave him up the pony. He was very much pleased; took the bridle; ran and caught it; and rode off."
Childs 3: 282.
Part 2, War: l