this work well, and at the same time quickly, I must have the best assistance; and for this purpose I beg leave to request most earnestly and respectfully that you appoint Major C. S. Stewart, Corps of Engineers, a brigadier-general of volunteers, and order him to report to me at once.
J. G. FOSTER,
(Similar letter to Halleck).
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, July 20, 1863-2. 20 p. m.
Major General J. G. FOSTER,
Commanding at Fort Monroe, Va.:
Your predecessor in command neglected to avail himself of the means to strengthen his force by encouraging colored men to come in from the plantations and enroll and enlist them in the service, although he was encouraged by the Department to employ that means under the full conviction that it would be a powerful instrument of weakening the enemy and increasing his own force. I hope that you will not fall into that error, and will avail yourself of the advantage of your position to encourage and stimulate the incoming of colored men from the rebels, and cause them to be enrolled and armed. You can, I am convinced, greatly add to your efficient military force by this means, and at all events supply labor which is greatly needed. The promptness and energy with which you set this organization into operation will, I think, have a great influence upon the safety of your command and the success of your operations.
EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
FORT MONROE, July 20, 1863-10 p. m.
(Received, July 21, 9. 45 a. m.)
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
I have just received your dispatch, having been absent all day inspecting the line of defenses commenced outside of Portsmouth and the troops guarding that line. You may rest assured that your wishes in regard to colored troops will be carried out. I propose to make a levy for five days' work on the defenses on all unemployed negroes in and around Norfolk and Portsmouth, and in the meantime to bring up Brigadier-General Wilds' recruiting officers to induce them to enter his brigade. I shall soon put this brigade into active service in the counties north of Albemarle Sound, where many negroes may be obtained, and the guerrillas at the same time punished. I intended to carry out the colonization scheme as a nucleus for the colored soldier's families, and to make Roanoke Island the key-point. I telegraphed you this morning in regard to the services and appointment desired for Major C. S. Stewart. I trust this will meet with your approbation, for it is a matter of much moment as far as the public service here is concerned.
J. G. FOSTER,