War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 0434 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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enlist the negroes, and let them perform their fair share of labor and fatigue duty, than keep them at hard labor--in many instances greater than they were subjected to by their former owners. I have always been satisfied that too many able-bodied men were permitted to follow our regiments. I shall go to Nashville to-morrow morning for a few days.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. THOMAS,

Adjutant-General.

[Inclosure.]

SPECIAL FIELD ORDERS,

HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI, Numbers 16.

In Field, near Dallas, June 3, 1864.

I. Recruiting officers will not enlist as soldiers any negroes who are profitably employed by any of the army departments, and any staff officer having a negro employed in useful labor on account of the Government will refuse to release him from his employment by virtue of a supposed enlistment as a soldier.

II. Commanding officers of the military posts will arrest, and, if need be, imprison any recruiting officer who, to make up companies of negro soldiers, interferes with the necessary gangs of hired negroes in the employment of the quartermaster's or commissary or other department of the Government without the full consent of the officers having them in charge.

By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:

L. M. DAYTON,

Aide-de-Camp.

WASHINGTON, D. C., June 16, 1864.

Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

SIR: I find that soldiers buried at the military cemeteries in this District are generally interred without any religious ceremony. On inquiry yesterday of the workmen engaged in digging graves where forty soldiers are interred daily, they informed me that they had seldom seen a chaplain at a funeral. Some of them thought none had been there for three weeks. It is impossible for the chaplains of hospitals to accompany each body to the grave. It is a daily duty, and the chaplains" whole time would be taken up in its performance. The Quartermaster's Department is, I think, unjustly blamed for interring the soldiers without appropriate ceremonies. It has not the appointment or employment of chaplains. Its officers are occupied with their appropriate duties, and cannot be present at the cemetery constantly. The interments are going on all day. If from the chaplains attached to the many hospitals of this District one could be detailed daily to be on duty during the whole day at each of the military cemeteries now in use--one at Arlington, the other at Alexandria- -it would give great satisfaction to the friends of our soldiers. The chaplain on duty should remain constantly at the cemetery until relieved by his successor. The interments could be made at certain hours two or three times a day, the bodies being deposited at the side of the graves, which are prepared beforehand, and the service could be thus performed over several bodies at a time. If this cannot be done, the only substitute which occurs to me as possible will be the employment by the Quartermaster's Department of an ordained minister at