deemed prudent by certain of their officers. They have never disgraced their uniform by pillage or cruelty, but have so conducted themselves upon the whole that even our enemies, though more anxious to find fault with these than with any other portion of our troops, have not yet been able to allege against them a single violation of any of the rules of civilized warfare.
These regiments are hardy, generous, temperate, patient, strictly obedient, possession great natural aptitude for arms, and deeply imbued with that religious sentiment (call it fanaticism, such as like) which made the soldiers of
Cromwell invincible. They believe that now is the time appointed by God for their deliverance, and under the heroic incitement of this faith I believe them capable of showing a courage and persistency of purpose which must in the end extort both victory and admiration.
In this connection I am also happy to announce to you that the prejudices of certain of our white soldiers and officers against these indispensable allies are rapidly softening or fading out, and that we have now opening before us in this department, which was the first in the present war to inaugurate the experiment of employing colored troops, large opportunities of putting them to a distinguished and profitable use.
With a brigade of liberated slaves already in the field, a few more regiments of intelligent colored men from the North would soon place this force in a condition to make extensive incursions upon the mainland, through the most densely populated slave regions, and from expeditions of this character I make no doubt the most beneficial results wold accrue.
I have the honor to be, governor, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE, Washington, May 5, 1863.
Colonel LAFAYETTE C. BAKER,
Washington, D. C.:
SIR: You are hereby authorized by the Secretary of War to raise a battalion of four companies of cavalry for special service, the same to be recruited in the District of Columbia, and to serve for three years or during the war. Each company will be organized as prescribed in General Orders, Numbers 126, series of 1862, from this office, except for the two teamsters therein named two trumpeters will be received, and the privates will number sixty minimum and seventy-eight maximum. All officers will be selected and appointed by you, subject to the approval of the War Department. The staff, commissioned and non- commissioned, will be detailed from the companies. All musters into service will be made in accordance with the mustering regulations, and by the special mustering officer who may be acting under the orders of this office. When the force is organized you will be appointed to its command with the rank of colonel.
I am, sir, &c.,
E. D. TOWNSEND,