necessary for a brigade had proceeded to the Department of the Gulf, where, under the direction of the department commander, five regiments, of infantry and two batteries of artillery have been organized; Brigadier General L. Thomas, Adjutant-General U. S. Army, had organized, or pt in process of organization, in the Valley of the Mississippi about twenty regiments, some of which have since rendered important service at Vicksburg and elsewhere.
Under these circumstances the attention of the Department was turned to the Middle and Eastern States. Colonel William Birney Second U. S. Colored Troops, then but recently appointed, was directed on the 13th of June, 1863, to recruit and organize colored troops in this District. The first regiment, known as the First Regiment U. S. Colored Troops, was recruited mustered into service, put in a good state of drill and discipline, and ordered to the field within sixty days. The organization of a second regiment was immediately commenced, and is now recruited nearly to the maximum and is known as the Second Regiment U. S. Colored Troops.
On the 17th of June, 1863, Major George L. Stearns was appointed recruiting commissioner for U. S. colored troops, and fixed his headquarters at Philadelphia, Pa., where a committee of patriotic citizens was engaged in raising colored troops, under authority issued by the Department June 18, 1863. This committee commenced recruiting immediately, and on the 5th of August the organization of one regiment, known as the Third Regiment U. S. Colored Troops, had been completed, and the regiment ordered to Morris Island, S. C., in time to take part in the operations against Forts Wagner and Sumter. The second regiment organized at Philadelphia, known as the Sixth Regiment U. S. Colored Troops, left that city on the 8th day of October, and another regiment, known as the Eighth, is nearly full. To the committee above named, and other citizens of the Middle and Eastern States, who have given freely of their time and money to advance this work, the Department is largely indebted for very valuable assistance
On the 6th of July 1863, Major General R. C. Schenck was authorized to commence recruiting for this branch of the service in Maryland. A recruiting station der the superintendence of Colonel Birney, about the middle of the same month, and a regiment known as the Fourth Regiment U. S. Colored Troops was recruited and organized in less than seven weeks, and on the 25th of September was under marching orders. The organization of another regiment, known as the Seventh Regiment U. S. Colored Troops, was immediately commenced and has now attained nearly the maximum number.
Nearly simultaneously with the commencement of operations in Pennsylvania and Maryland the Governors of Ohio and Rhode Island were each authorized to raise one regiment, the former a regiment of infantry and the latter a regiment of artillery. The Ohio regiment, known as the Fifth Regiment U. S. Colored Troops, has now nine full companies while the Rhode Island regiment, known as the Fourteenth Regiment Rhode Island Heavy Artillery, has 900 men about half the maximum number of an artillery regiment.
On the 22nd of July Major General James G. Blunt was authorized to raise one regiment in Kansas. This regiment is now full, and Major-General Blunt has been authorized to raise another, which will be known as the Eleventh Regiment U. S. Colored Troops.