negroes, nor that in the event of any disturbances the negro troops in this military division would attempt to commit violence. As a general rule, the negro soldiers are under good discipline. I have required all commanding officers to keep their commands under good discipline, and as a general rule I believe they have. I believe in the majority of cases of collisions between whites and negro soldiers that the white man has attempted to bully the negro, for it is exceedingly repugnant to the Southerners to have negro soldiers in their midst, and some are so foolish as to vent their anger upon the negro because he is a soldier. It was my desire to have retained in service all the one-year white troops to garrison the different important points in each State until the States were reorganized and resumed their proper status and functions in the union. All these regiments have now been ordered to be mustered out in Kentucky and Tennessee, which compels me to use negro troops to garrison the important points in those States. If General Palmer thinks it safe to withdraw the troops from Kentucky, all the negro troops in that State can be mustered out of service. It is necessary to have a few regiments at the depots in this State to guard public property. The balance I contemplate sending to Alabama and Georgia to enable the commanding generals of those two departments to discharge an equal number of white troops, who are clamors for their discharge and in reality are doing but little good in most places. The white troops are particularly hostile to the negro, and with the utmost care it is difficult to prevent collision between them. I have always endeavored to observe a just and conciliatory course toward the people of the States within my command, and believe they are, as a mass, satisfied; but there are always in every community evil-minded persons, to whom nothing seems right except when they can have all their whims and caprices satisfied. There I find are always ready to misrepresent and exaggerate every event, however trifling, that does not in some manner benefit them. From what I observe of the sentiments and acts of the people of Georgia and Alabama, I am convinced that after the organization of these States it will only be necessary to hold the fortifications on the sea-coast and concentrate a force of 5,000 or 6,000 well-disciplined troops, either white or black, at some central points, as Atlanta and Chattanooga, to insure the supremacy of the Government.
GEO. H. THOMAS,
SPRINGFIELD, ILL., September 13, 1865-10 a. m.
Major General G. H. THOMAS,
Your telegrams have been received. The disposition of and order for muster out of troops is so satisfactory that it will not be necessary for me to visit Nashville. You are authorized to go to New York at your pleasure.
U. S. GRANT,
GENERAL ORDERS, HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF KENTUCKY, Numbers 70.
Louisville, Ky., September 26, 1865.
Bvt. Major General Jeff. C. Davis, having reported to these headquarters for orders, is assigned to command of the First Division, Department