since they entered the service of the United States, now one year ago. This unhappy state of affairs seems to have been brought about by some misunderstanding between the United States and the State of Massachusetts in regard to colored troops. For this misunderstanding the enlisted men cannot be held responsible, and they consequently should not be made to suffer for it.
Letters have been constantly arriving for six months in these regiments, in which the wives of the enlisted men describe their sufferings and the sufferings of their families. Children have died because they could not be supplied with the proper food, and because the doctor could not be paid or medicines obtained from the druggist. Wives have proved untrue to their husbands and abandoned their offspring. Mothers advise their sons to throw down the muskets and come home, it being impossible for them to live longer without their support. The effect of such letters on the minds of the enlisted men of these regiments may be easily imagined, and it reflects to the credit of the officers as well as the men that the efficiency of the regiments has not materially suffered under these circumstances.
I have ordered Colonel A. S. Hartwell, of the Fifty-fifth Massachusetts Volunteers, to explain the case personally to the general commanding, and to beg the general to send him north in order to procure an order from the Paymaster-General for the payment of these regiments as soon as possible, upon the law to that effect being passed. Sending the colonel north for that purpose would at least have the certain effect of keeping the men quiet while awaiting his return, and of convincing them that something was being done on their behalf which would prove decisive, whereas now many of them do not believe they will ever received any pay.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding District.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF PENSACOLA,
Barrancas, June 3, 1864.
Major JOHN LEVERING,
A. A. G., Hdqrs. Defenses of New Orleans:
MAJOR: I have the honor to report, in connecting with my report of May 25 ultimo, Numbers 363, the following additional information received from refugees and deserters:
There are, besides the militia, but very few troops now at Mobile, Colonel C. A. Fuller commanding. A Pollard are only five companies of the Second Alabama Infantry; Colonel Maury has at the Fifteen-Mile Station, Seven-Mile Station, and Turner's Mill about 500 of the Fifteenth Confederate Cavalry, with three pieces of artillery at Fifteen-Mile Station. Three companies of the same regiment are still at and near Milton. The rest of the regiment are on the Perdido. In the Mobile Bay there are outside the Dog River Bar the Tennessee, Baltic, Tuscaloosa, and Huntsville, iron-clad rams, and the wooden gun-boats Selma, Morgan, and Gaines. The Nashville is not yet over the bar, but they have already the camels under her. Two more rams are at Mobile, not yet plated, and one got aground above Mobile while coming down from Selma. Of the four iron plated floating batteries near the dry-dock, one was sunk.