Washington City, December 22, 1863.
Ordered, that Major-General Gillmore, commanding the Department of the South, be, and is hereby, authorized -
First. To enlist and organize all the colored troops that can be recruited within his department, the said enlistments to be in accordance with the rules and regulations of the service and of the War Department relating to the organization of colored troops and such further orders as may from time be given by the Department.
Second. General Gillmore is authorized to appoint a board of the examination of white persons to officer the regiments and companies so raised by him, and to make provisional appointments of the persons passed by said board and appointed by him, reporting their names to this Department for its approval, and, if approved, such persons will be commissioned by the President, as in other cases of colored troops. He may also appoint a mustering officer and have the officer and troops mustered in at such times as he may deem proper.
Third. The troops so raised may consist of infantry, cavalry, and artillery, and in such proportions as General Gillmore may deem most beneficial for the service, their pay and allowance to be in accordance with the act of Congress and the rules and regulations of the service respecting colored troops; but a bounty may be allowed, not to exceed the sum of $10, payable out of the fund for procuring substitutes, as in the case of recruits in the Department of Virginia.
Fourth. All other authority for raising colored troops within the department aforesaid shall be subject to the direction of Major-General gillmore until further orders.
Fifth. That General Gillmore is authorized, under the foregoing regulations, to procure recruits from Key West, or in the States of Georgia, Florida, and Alabama, not, however, so as to interfere with the engineer service at Key West.
Sixth. Allow the colored troops now in the Department of the South, or that may be recruited therein, or that shall be sent forward, may be organized in such brigades, divisions, and corps as General Gillmore may deem most advantageous to the service, he making report to Major Foster, chief of bureau in the War Department for organizing colored troops.
Seventh. The colored troops to be called United States troops, and numbered by regiments in consecutive order as organized.
By order of the Secretary of War:
E. D. TOWNSEND,
HILTON HEAD, S. C.,
December 22, 1863.
Captain H. S. TAFFT,
Signal Office, Washington, D. C.:
CAPTAIN: In reply to your communication of the 10th instant, I have to state that my position as sometime chief of staff to Major-General Hunter, commanding this department, gave the best and fullest opportunity of studying the system of communication practiced