September 11, 1863-12.45 p. m.
(Received 5.20 p. m.)
Colonel E. D. TOWNSEND,
We have organized and mustered into service, under authority already received, several companies of loyal Alabamians, for twelvemonths' service. Since the occupation of this country and East Tennessee, men are fast organizing and applying to be mustered-some for one year, some for three. I request permission to organize regiments instead of companies from the States through which we pass, and to accept the companies for such time-not less than one year-as they may elect, and that arrangements be made to commission the officers.
W. S. ROSECRANS,
CHATTANOOGA, September 11, 1863-2 p. m.
(Received 7.25 p. m.)
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
The number of deserters from the rebel army is great. Men who were conscripted on account of their loyalty, men who wish the lex talionis are among them. Applications are numerous for permission to enter our service. An immediate decision, if possible, by the War Department authorizing the enlistment of these men is desirable. They cannot follow the avocations of peace nor have proper protection at home, and will be soon driven by causes founded in human nature to some course prejudicial to the public interests. Please authorize me to use my discretion in the matter under such rules as care and War Department orders may prescribe.
W. S. ROSECRANS,
Washington City, September 11, 1863-9 p. m.
Major General W. S. ROSECRANS,
You are authorized to use your discretion in regard to the enlistment of deserters from the enemy. I have been under the impression that this authority was given to you and Governor Johnson some time ago. On reference to the telegram of 29th August, addressed to you at Stevenson, Ala., by my order, from the commissary-general of prisoners, you will perceived that such authority was given, with suggestions for certain precautions to be observed in its exercise.
Your dispatch of 12.45 this day, addressed to Adjutant-General Townsend, has been referred to me. You are authorized to organize regiments and companies from loyal citizens of the States in which your army may be operating, for any period not less than one year, as they may elect. You will select competent persons to officer the forces thus enlisted, and upon reporting their names to this Department, they will be commissioned by the President and their com-
34 R R-VOI XXX, PT III