War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0882 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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In obedience to this order I immediately ceased raising colored troops and have done nothing since. The part of the order relating to General Vickers was probably sent me from wrong information, as I had no knowledge of the general, or any intention of taking action in regard to him, having in fact ceased all operations in Kent County prior to the receipt of the telegram. I have made inquiry since and find that the general in question was formerly a noisy constitutional Union man, but has recently, and on the slave question, become a virulent enemy of the Government and associate with known secessionists; that he proposed to two secessionists to raise a mob at Chestertown and burn the small Government steamer employed for the transportation of recruits for the U. S. colored troops; and that he was body and officious in advising masters of slaves to offer armed resistance to the recruiting officers. There is but one other man, Judge Carmichael, residing on the Eastern Shore, who is so vindictive and dangerous an enemy to the Government. They are, I am happy to say, not sustained by the mass of the population, which earnestly desires the enlistment of the negro, especially the slaves. My officers went unarmed and alone through nearly every county in the central part of the Eastern Shore, and everywhere received aid and sympathy from the people, except the rebel sympathizers among the slave-owners and except a few politicians.

Your obedient servant,

WILLIAM BIRNEY,

Colonel Second U. S. Colored Troops and Mustering Officer.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE NORTHWEST,

Milwaukee, Wis., October 13, 1863.

Colonel J. B. FRY,

Provost-Marshal-General, Washington, D. C.:

COLONEL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 7th instant in relation to the draft and the raising of volunteers in this State.

You may confidently rely upon my cordial co-operation with yourself and the officers of your department in all matters pertaining to the thorough discharge of our respective duties.

I regret much that you consider it necessary or expedient to remove Lieutenant-Colonel Lovell to Madison, and respectfully request that you will reconsider this determination.

At your distance from this region it is probable that you do not entirely appreciate the exact condition of things in this State, nor what I conceive to be the very great expediency of having the provost-marshal-general of this State at the headquarters of this military department, where he can be in daily communication with the department commander. Much difficulty and trouble have already been avoided by this free and daily intercourse.

Aside from this, Milwaukee is the great center of the railroad and telegraphic system of the State, and communication with all parts of it is more direct on all accounts that the headquarters of the assistant provost-marshal-general for this State be retained at Milwaukee, and I hope you will on further consideration find it judicious to retain Colonel Lovell here.

I also wish to invite your attention to Colonel Lovell's letter in relation to a communication direct to you from Provost-Marshal Tillapaugh, of this district.