Lizzie Howard on wedding of former slaves, Leeds, 1864


Lizzie Howard wrote to her husband, Gen. Oliver Otis Howard, engaged in the march to Atlanta with the Union Army, to describe the wedding of Julia McDermott (or McDonald), a former slave who had followed the Union army from east Tennessee with her two young daughters.

Gen. Howard brought "Julia," as she was called throughout the letter, and her two children, to Maine at the end of January 1864, when he returned briefly on furlough. Julia was to serve as cook for Lizzie Howard and her four children, who lived in Augusta.

At the end of November 1865, Julia married Frederick Brown at the Howard home in Augusta. Brown, also a former slave, had come to Maine with an officer of the 15th Maine Infantry, in 1864.

Lizzie Howard describes to her husband the wedding of the two former slaves, and explains what she has done for Julia and her daughters during the time they have lived with her.


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