War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0684 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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learn from him that the aid furnished had largely increased the number of his men, and he expressed the belief that with continued aid he could recruit several regiments in Maryland.

On Wednesday I called on Major-General Foster, at Fortress Monroe, who received me very cordially, and said he should be glad to have my aid in recruiting in his department-would subsist, arm, and clothe the recruits, but had no money to pay the recruiting expenses. He referred me to Brigadier-General Naglee, at Norfolk, who could give me information as to recruiting there and at New Berne.

I also called on Captain Wilder, superintendent of contrabands, who informed me that a few weeks earlier an order was sent from Washington to Fortress Monroe to impress al able-bodied colored men for service in the Quartermaster's Department at Washington, and that all who could be secured had been sent forward; that many had escaped and in fright had taken to the woods, where they remained, preventing others from coming in. He said it would require some time to dispel their fears; that in time, if the impressment was not resumed, we could obtain large numbers for the army. He also said that the number of men would be largely increased by the payment of the recruiting fee.

On Thursday I called on Brigadier-General Naglee, at Norfolk, stating that I had been referred by Major-General Foster to him for information of the recruiting in Norfolk and New Berne, N. C. At the same time I showed him my appointment as recruiting commissioner. He refused to give me any information without a positive order, but volunteered advice as to other work, which not being in my department I declined to receive. I was informed at Fortress Monroe that General Wild had used his own funds in recruiting his brigade.

My conclusions, derived from information obtained on this trip, are that eight to ten regiments can by the use of proper means be raised in Maryland and as many more in General Foster's department, but that the officers in command of the army are already so fully occupied with their duties that they have not sufficient time to attend to this work.

I therefore recommend that an officer of proper rank by charged with the recruiting of colored troops in Maryland, and another by sent to General Foster's department for the same duty; that they be provided in advance with the necessary funds for the payment of expenses, including a fee of $2 each for procuring recruits; that the impressment of colored men by discontinued everywhere. The ablest of them run to the woods, imparting their fears to the slaves, thus keeping them out of our lines, and we get only those who are too ignorant or indolent to take care of themselves. I feel sure we can get more men by fair enlistment, or hiring them at wages as laborers, in three months than we can by combining it with impressment.

I have been reliably informed that General Gillmore's department at least 300 were frightened away by impressment previous to his arrival; are in the woods, visiting the plantations by night and returning to their hiding-places before daylight. They prevent the slaves from running to our lines.

Colonel Birney appears to be well qualified to take sole charge of recruiting in Maryland. He readily acquires the confidence of the negro, and is a thorough organizer of a regiment.

I returned to this city on Friday last. On Saturday I received your order to report to Major-General Rosecrans. It will require a few