three years or until sooner discharged, and may include persons of African descent, organized into separate corps. He will make the usual needful requisitions on the appropriate staff bureaus and officers for the proper transportation, organization, supplies, subsistence, arms, and equipments of such volunteers.
EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
In on respect do the troops raised and organized under this order differ, at to the provision by the order for their organizations, rights liabilities, or pay, from any other regiments or volunteers. And admitting, for the sake of the argument, that any men mustered as soldiers, and doing a soldier's duty, can be rightly turned off which less than a soldier's pay, still these two regiments from Massachusetts are under no such possible disability. They were raised, enlisted, mustered, sworn in, and used under the laws for raising and accepting volunteers., They stand in every respect, as the foregoing order shows, upon the same laws which support the right of white soldiers. The order of the President of the United States, issued under the hand of the Secretary of War, the contract of enlistment, the musterrolls, and the commissions of their officers are all evidence of the identity of these regiments in rights and legal character which all other regiment of State volunteers. They were raised in direct pursuance of, in speciafic reference and confo under, the act of Congress for the recruitment and acceptance of State volunteers, and the laws for the payment of the volunteer army of the United States apply to these men, or they apply to nobody.
Under the eleventh section of the one hundred and ninety-fifth chapter of the acts of 1862 President is specially authorized to employ persons of African descent," and for this purpose he may organize and use them in such manner as he may judge best for the public welfare." Acting through the Secretary of War, the President did think best to cause these men to be organized into regiments as volunteer soldiers, under the act of Congress for the acceptance of volunteers. They became such volunteers by the concurrent act of the Government and themselves. But before by the passage of this act, indeed, your Excellency was not restricted to the acceptance of white men by the laws authorizing you to accent volunteers. A man of African descent has always been competent to be enlisted into the Regular Army of the United States, into the Navy of the United States, and to be employed in any arm of either service. In the Navy, men of color have always been employed and have been paid according to the grade of their employment. Even in the Army, colored men, acting in the capacity of stevedores and as employes of the Quartermaster's and Ordnance Department, have been and are employed, and are paid according to the valued of their services, sometimes, as I am informed, even at the rate of $1 by the day. So that not only is the distinction made by the paymaster against these troops contrary to the law and to justice, but opposed to the daily practice of the Government itself.
The case of Chaplain Harrison, however, carries us a step further, as it is the case of an officer, duly mustered into the service of the United States, who has performed the duties of an officer and claims the fully pay of an officer.
More than this, it is the case of a man filling a sacred office; one who has presented the lawful testimonials of the appropriate ecclesiastical authorities, proving that he is a clergyman in good and regular standing with his denomination; one who has been legally elected by standing with his denomination; one who has been legally elected by the votes of the fiecompany commanders of a volunteer