report they can be paroled in proper form. I shall send my adjutant-general to Baldwin to parole the force there and at Lake City. After the men have signed the parole they are to form in line without arms, their names called, and as they answer, the paroles given to them. After the paroling is completed I purpose to march in my troops to their original position until I am instructed what points to garrison.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers.
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Dumfries, Va., May 17, 1865-9 p. m.
General O. O. HOWARD,
Washington, D. C.:
DEAR GENERAL: Your letter of May 12, inclosing General Orders, War Department, Numbers 91, of May 12, reached me here on arrival at camp about dark. Colonel Strong is camped just behind me, General Logan about two miles back, and the Fifteenth Corps at Aquia Creek, eight miles back. Copies of Orders, Numbers 91, are being made and will be sent back to them. I hardly know whether to congratulate you or not, but of one thing you may rest assured, that you possess my entire confidence, and I cannot imagine that matters that may involve the future of 4,000,000 of souls could be put in more charitable and more conscientious hands. So far as man can do, I believe you will, but I fear you have Hercules' task. God has limited the power of man, and though in the kindness of your heart you would alleviate all the ills of humanity it is not in your power, nor is it in your power to fulfill onetenth part of the expectations of those who framed the bureau for the freedmen, refugees, and abandoned estates. It is simply impracticable. Yet you can and will do all the good one man may, and that is all you are called on as a man and Christian to do, and to that extent count on me as a friend and fellow soldier for counsel and assistance. I believe the negro is free by act of master and by the laws of war, now ratified by actual consent and power. The demand for his labor and his ability to acquire and work land will enable the negro to work out that amount of freedom and political consequence to which he is or may be entitled by natural right, and the acquiescence of his fellow men (white). But I fear that parties will agitate for the negro's right of suffrage and equal political status, not that he asks it or wants it, but merely to manufacture that number of available votes for politicians to work on.
If that be attempted we arouse a new and dangerous element, prejudice, which, right or wrong, does exist, and should be consulted. There is ce of race which over our whole country exists. The negro is denied a vote in all the Northern States save two or three, and then qualified by conditions not attached to the white race and by the Constitution of the United States. To States is left the right to fix the qualification of voters. The United States cannot make negroes vote in the South any more than they can in the North without revolution, and as we have just emerged from one attempted revolution it would b wrong to begin another. I believe the negro is free constitutionally, and if the United States will simply guarantee that freedom and allow the negro to hire his own labor, the transition will