War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 0454 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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way of bounties, they propose to procure at their own expense and present for enlistment recruits to represent them in the service. Such practical patriotism is worthy of special commendation and encouragement. Provost-marshals, and all other officers acting under this Bureau, are ordered to furnish all the facilities in their power to enlist and muster promptly the acceptable representative recruits presented in accordance with the design herein set forth.

The name of the person whom the recruit represents will be noted on the enlistment and descriptive roll of the recruit, and will be carried forward from those papers to the other official records which form his military history.

Suitably prepared certificates of this personal representation in the service will be forwarded from this office to be filled out and issued by provost-marshals to the persons who put in representative recruits.

JAMES B. FRY,

Provost-Marshal-General.

HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,

Near Kensaw Mountain, June 26, 1864.

General LORENZO THOMAS,

Louisville, Ky.:

I was gratified at the receipt of your dispatch from Chattanooga, I would have answered sooner if our telegraph had not been broken so often of late. As I wrote you, I know all the people have left North Georgia for the regions of the Flint and Applachicola with their negroes.

The regiments of blacks now in Chattanooga and Tennessee will absorb all the recruits we can get, but if you raise new regiments they could be well employed about Clarksville, Bowling Green, and on the Tennessee River, say at the terminus of the Northwestern Railroad. My preference is to make this radical change with natural slowness. If negroes are taken as soldiers by undue influence or force and compelled to leave their women in the uncertainty of their new condition, they cannot be relied on; but if they can put their families in some safe place and then earn money as soldiers or laborers, the transition will be more easy and the effect more permanent.

What my order contemplated was the eagerness of recruiting captains and lieutenant to make up their quota in order to be commissioned.

They would use a species of force or undue influence and break up our gangs of laborers as necessary as soldiers. We find gangs of negro laborers well organized on the Mississippi at Nashville and along the railroads most useful, and I have used them with great success as pioneer companies attached to divisions, and I think it would be well if a law would sanction such an organization-say of 100 to each division of 4,000 men.

The first step in the liberation of the negro from bondage will be to get him and family to a place of safety, then to afford him the means of providing for his family, for their instincts are very strong, then gradually use a proportion-greater and greater each year- as sailors and soldiers. There will be no great difficulty in our absorbing the four million of slaves in this great industrious country of ours, and being lost to their masters the cause of war is gone, for this great money interest then ceases to be an element in our politics and civil