War of the Rebellion: Serial 099 Page 0099 Chapter LIX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION.

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HEADQUARTERS SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS,

Pocotaligo, S. C., January 20, 1865.

Major General O. O. HOWARD,

Commanding Department and Army of the Tennessee:

GENERAL: I have addressed an official note to Captain Taggart requesting that my negro pioneers, under Captain Davis and Lieutenant Dixon, be relieved from duty at Beaufort and ordered to join this command. I have fatigue duty enough to occupy them here in making roads, wharves, &c., in which I am now compelled to employ my troops. But I wish to say candidly to you that I have other very strong motives to desire to get these men out of the hands of the recruiting agents of the different States, who are tampering with the men and officers, offering them bribes to enlist for particular States. The result, if this should succeed, would be to deprive me and my corps of a good body of pioneers and encumber the Government with another regiment of idle negroes to lay around in barracks. It would also be credited to the quota of some Northern State, and we should lose a regiment of white soldiers whose place it would take. It is not necessary that General Littlefield or anybody else should muster them into the service and give credit to this or that State. The men can continue to perform the services for which they were recruited until authority comes from Washington to muster them into service without losing by the operation 1,000 good white soldiers and without any bounty or pay except that which will properly come to them on the contract under which they already engaged to serve. A large number have already been inveigled and seduced away by promises and bounties held out to them, and I desire to relieve myself and officers of all further contact with those people.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. P. BLAIR, JR.,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS,

Pocotaligo, S. C., January 20, 1865.

Brigadier General M. F. FORCE,

Commanding Third Division:

GENERAL: General Mower had moved out this morning with the intention of crossing the Salkehatchie River, about three miles above the bridge, and coming down behind the enemy if possible.

The Major-general commanding desires you to send a regiment out on the road to the bridge at once, with instructions not to expose themselves too much to the enemy's fire, but to make a demonstration to attract their attention. Send your mounted infantry with the regiment, and let them bring reports of any movements of the enemy or anything of importance that the commanding officer may learn from time to time. Let the regiment remain out during the day or until something definite is heard from General Mower.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

C. CADLE, JR.,

Assistant Adjutant-General.