John P. Jones
For some Union soldiers, exposure to Southern slavery profoundly altered their views on the institution. One such soldier, John P. Jones, wrote from Medon, Tennessee, to his wife on August 24, 1862, describing his increasing sympathy for abolitionism after seeing the inhumanity with which slaves could be treated. He also rejoiced that military policy no longer forced soldiers to return escaped slaves. The identity of John P. Jones has not been positively confirmed. There is a possibility that he served in the 45th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment. The 45th Illinois did have a John P. Jones who enlisted in October 1861. Also listed among their ranks was a sergeant named "Crittenden, " whom Jones mentions in his letter. However, the provenance information, which accompanied this document when it came into the Library's collection, stated that the letter was by Captain John P. Jones of Missouri, whose identity has not been verified.