War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 0431 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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It is thought that amid the press of other business both of these subjects may have escaped your attention; hence this inquiry.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Adjutant-General of Missouri.

ORDERS Numbers 21.] LOUISVILLE, KY., June 14, 1864.

The incorporation into the Army of the United States of colored troops renders it necessary that they should be brought as speedily as possible to the highest state of discipline. Accordingly the practice which has hitherto prevailed, no doubt from necessity, of requiring these troops to perform most of the labor on fortifications and the labor and fatigue duties of permanent stations and camps will cease, and they will only be required to take their fair share of fatigue duty with the while troops. This is necessary to prepare them for the higher duties of conflicts with the enemy. Commanders of colored troops in cases where the troops under their commands are required to perform an excess of labor above white troops in the same command will represent the case to the common superior through the regular channels.

By order of the Secretary of War:



WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington City, June 14, 1864.

Major General LEW. WALLACE,

Commanding Middle Department, Baltimore:

The President directs me to inform you that his attention has been called to certain general orders purporting to be issued by you--one, General Orders, Numbers 30, dated Middle Department, Eighth Army Corps, Baltimore, April 26, 1864, the other General Orders, Numbers 33, dated Middle Department, Eighth Army Corps, Baltimore, May 1, 1864--and to inform you that in issuing these orders without his instructions you have transcended the power vested inyou as a major-general and commander of a department. He instructs me also to say to you that the authority claimed to be exercised by you in these orders is a power vested in him alone, and only to be exercised by a subordinate officer when directed to do so by the President. If any facts or circumstances existing in your department render it, in your judgment, expedient to resort to the measures contemplated by these orders, it is proper for you to make representations thereof through the proper military channels to the President and apply for his instructions, and on such application he will give whatever directions in his judgment may be required by the public interests. In the meantime be directs that you revoke said orders, and that they be absolutely annulled, and that you take no measure and do not act in execution of your general orders above specified. You will acknowledge the receipt of this order.


Secretary of War.