War of the Rebellion: Serial 020 Page 0377 Chapter XXVI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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Washington City, D. C., August 26, 1862.

Brigadier-General SAXTON:

GENERAL: Herewith you will receive instructions in relation to your communication dated the 16th instant.

In addition to the powers therein conferred your are authorized to enlist into the United States service for three years or during the war, in order to fill up the regiments in the Southern Department, as many able-bodied white persons as may be required for that purpose. They recruits will be allowed the advance pay and bounty authorized by law.

Yours, truly,


Secretary of War.



Washington City, D. C., August 25, 1862.

Brigadier-General SAXTON:

GENERAL: Your dispatch of the 16th has this moment been received. It is considered by the Department that the instructions given at the time of your appointment were sufficient to enable you to do what you have now requested authority for doing. But in order to place your authority beyond all doubt you are hereby authorized and instructed:

1st. To enroll and organize, in any convenient organization, by squads, companies, battalions, regiments, and brigades or otherwise, by squads, persons of African descent for volunteer laborers to a number not exceeding 5,000, and muster them into the service of the United States for the term of the war, at a rate of compensation not exceeding $5 per month for common laborers and $8 per month for mechanical or skilled laborers, and assign them to the quartermaster's department, to do and perform such laborers' duty as may be required in the military service of the United States, and wherever the same may be required during the present war, and to be subject to the Rules and Articles of War.

2nd. The laboring forces herein authorized shall, under the order of the general-in-chief or of this Department, be detailed by the Quartermaster-General for laboring service with the armies of the Unites States, and they shall be clothed and subsisted after enrollment in the same manner as other persons in the Quartermaster's service.

3rd. In view of the small force under your command and the inability of the Government at the present time to increase it, in order to guard the plantations and settlements occupied by the United States from invasion and protect the inhabitants thereof for captivity and murder by the enemy, you are also authorized to arm, uniform, equip, and receive into the service of the United States such number of volunteers of African descent as you may deem expedient, not exceeding 5,000, and may detail officers to instruct them in military drill, discipline, and duty, and to command them. The persons so received into service and their officers to be entitled to and receive the same pay and rations as are allowed by law to volunteers in the service.

4th. You will re-occupy, if possible, all the islands and plantations heretofore occupied by the Government, and secure and harvest the crops and cultivate and improve the plantations.

5th. The population of African descent that cultivate the lands and