War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 0274 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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to position requiring higher qualifications and entitled to a higher rate of pay. To assume that because Mr. Harrison is a person of African descent he shall draw only the pay which this law establishes for the class it obviously fevers to, and be deprived of the pay which another law specifically affixes to the office he lawfully held, would be, in my opinion, a distortion of both laws, not only unjust to him, but in plain violation of the purpose of Congress.

I therefore think that the paymaster should have paid Mr. Harrison his full pay as chaplain of a volunteer regiment.

Your attention having been specially called to the wrong done in this case, I am also of opinion that your constitutional obligation to take care that the laws be faithfully executed makes it your duty to direct the Secretary of War to inform the officers of the Pay Department of the Army that such is your view of the law, and I do not doubt that it will be accepted by them as furnishing the correct rule for their action.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,



[Inclosure Numbers 2.]


Boston, March 24, 1864.


President of the Unites States, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: I beg l;eave to submit to your consideration by this communication and accompanying papers the case of the Rev. Samuel Harrison, lately chaplain of the Fifty-fourth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers.

Mr. Harrison was duly elected chaplain of the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry August 22, 1863; was commissioned by me as such September 8, 1863, and was mustered into the service of the United States November 12, 1863, at Morris Island, S. C., by Charles. A. Brooks, mustering officer.

On demanding his pay as chaplain of the U. S. paymaster at Hiltoin Head, S. C., he was met by the following refusal in writing, viz:

HILTON HEAD, S. C., February 6, 1864.

Samuel Harrison, chaplain of the Fifty-fourth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers (colored troops), asks pay at the usual rate, $100 per month and two rations, which, he being of African descent, I decline paying, under oct of Congress passes July 17, 1862, employing persons of African descent the military service of the United States. The chaplain declines to receive anything less.


Paymaster, U. S. Army.

I respectfully ask Your Excellency's attention, as a preliminary inquiry, to the manner in which the Fifth-fourth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers, and its companion, the Fifty-fifth, were organized.

They were organized as Massachusetts Volunteers precisely in the same manner as were other regiment of State volunteers, and under the following order of the War Department, viz:


Washington City, January 26, 1863.

Ordered, That Governor Andrew, of Massachusetts, is authorized, until further orders, to raise such number of volunteer companies of artillery, for duty in the forts of Massachusetts and elsewhere, and such corps of infantry for the volunteer military service as he may find convenient, such volunteers to be enlisted for