War of the Rebellion: Serial 082 Page 0027 Chapter LII. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.- UNION.

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think unless care is taken to give them officers of this class the experiment will prove a failure. If the general is not entirely satisfied regarding the correctness of the report as to the condition of these troops I would respectfully suggest that a commission be appointed to examine into and report upon their necessities in order to render them effective at once.

WM. F. SMITH,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS EIGHTEENTH ARMY CORPS,

July 5, 1864.

General WEITZEL:

I deem it essential to the interests of the service that some action should be had by the lieutenant-general upon the condition of the negro troops. I have, therefore, respectfully, to ask that the major-general commanding the department may forward to the lieutenant-general commanding the papers sent by me last week to Brigadier-General Rawlins through department headquarters with reference thereto.

WM. F. SMITH,

Major-General.

HDQRS. DEPT OF VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA,

In the Field, July 5, 1864.

Major-General SMITH:

When I had the pleasure of seeing you at your headquarters you said to me that you would send over to Bermuda lines four colored regiments, Tenth United States, Thirty-seventh, Fifth,and Second Colored Cavalry, using the First Colored Cavalry as your ambulance [corps] and stretcher-bearers. Again, you said when I saw you with General Grant that you would send me the regiments as soon as you could get them out. I was to send Turner's remnants, which was done. I have since sent you the Fourth Rhode Island, 400 muskets, but have not received the Tenth U. S. Colored or the Second Colored Cavalry. If some exigency, which you can explain, does not prevent, please send those regiments, so that they may be perfected in drill and discipline.

Respectfully,

BENJ. F. BUTLER,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS EIGHTEENTH CORPS,

July 5, 1864.

Major General B. F. BUTLER,

Commanding Department of Virginia and North Carolina:

The large sick list, together with the daily casualties, has so reduced my force as to barely leave me enough to properly relieve my troops in the trenches and compelled me to use the regiments spoken of to do the picket duty on the river from my right to the gun-boats. I will make such other disposition however, to allow me to keep my agreement and return you the regiments to-morrow.

WM. F. SMITH

Major-General.