NINTH DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS,
Greenfield, October 27, 1863.
[Governor J. A. ANDREW:]
HIS EXCELLENCY: I appeal to you, our Governor, to see that the National Government, in its recruiting, does justice to all the citizens of our State.
A few weeks since orders were received for the appointment of recruiting officers and the enlistment of volunteers for regiments now in the field, the volunteer to have the choice of regiments. This order made non distinction of color, and it was supposed that all citizens of this Commonwealth had a right to enlist and receive the large bounties offered. We now learn, after a number had volunteered, that the Department has decided that colored volunteers are not entitled to the bounties. This is gross injustice to the citizens of this district and this State. Our colored men are citizens. Their names are registered among the enrolled militia of the United States. A number of them have been drawn in the draft. Some of these have gone to the war, others have furnished substitutes or paid commutation. We shall oblige them to stand their chance in the draft of January, and, if draw, shall compel them to go, furnish substitutes, or pay.
Shall we compel these men to pay their hard-earned money that a bounty fund may be created, and then utterly debar them from taking advantage of those bounties?
If these premiums can be paid to colored men nearly every able- bodied one in this district will go, but if not, they will wait for the draft; so that for every bounty refused a colored man there will be one added to the quota for the next draft. I understand also that Government is paying $300 apiece to the slaveholders of Maryland for such slaves as enlist. Are not our free citizens as much value to themselves, their families, the State, the country, the Army as the slaves of Maryland are to the tyrants of that border land? Governor, I trust you will see justice done.
I have the honor to be, with great respect, your most obedient servant,
ZENAS W. BLISS.
BOSTON, October 28, 1863.
Respectfully referred to Brigadier-General Peirce with the request that he will represent the inclosed case to the War Department.
J. A. ANDREW.
CIRCULAR.] NATCHEZ, MISS., October 27, 1863.
The following regulations for the government of the commissioners for leasing plantations are published for the information of all concerned:
I. The primary objects are to line the banks of the Mississippi River with a loyal population and to give aid in securing the uninterrupted navigation of the river, at the same time to give employment to the freed negroes whereby they may earn wages and become self-supporting.
II. The property of disloyal persons of right belongs to the United