War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 0468 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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former point to the camp all supplies-and they are very numerous have to be transported by wagons. If this large intrenched camp of 4,000 acres is to be continued-and I suppose such will be the case, as it is a good central point, and important as a base of supplies for Tennessee-it would be economy to construct a railroad over these six miles. It could be mainly constructed by the troops at comparatively little cost. General Burbridge gives me every assistance, and is fully impressed with the necessity of arming the negroes. He makes a good commander, and I hope will be continued in his present position. My presence will be necessary here to-morrow and perhaps the next day.

I will return to Louisville.

L. THOMAS,

Adjutant-General.

WAR DEPT., PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL" SOFFICE,

Washington, D. C., July 3, 1864.

General L. THOMAS,

Adjutant-General, Louisville, Ky.:

Your General Order Numbers 20* has been presented to the Secretary of War. He directs me to say that on account of the peculiar condition of things in Kentucky he some time since gave to General Burbridge the chief control of the recruiting service for both white and colored troops in the State.

General Burbridge, assisted by Major Sidell, superintendent of recruiting service, has been for several weeks enlisting negroes in Kentucky, and the Secretary does not wish you to supersede or disturb the arrangements made by General Burbridge. On the contrary, he desires you to give any aid in your power to carry out the plans General Burbridge is acting on, and to put under General Burbridge's control all the officers whom you deem it best to connect with recruitment and organization in Kentucky.

J. B. FRY,

Provost-Marshal-General.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY,

Lexington, July 3, 1864.

Brigadier General L. THOMAS,

Adjutant-General, U. S. Army:

GENERAL: I desire to call your attention to the following facts in regard to the recruiting and organization of colored troops in this district. Special Orders, Numbers 140, current series, from the War Department, directs that I, in addition to the duties already devolving upon me as commander of the District of Kentucky, shall be charged with the "general superintendence of the execution of the acts of Congress for raising troops in Kentucky by volunteer enlistment and by draft." This order contemplated the enlistment and organization of colored troops, and I immediately adopted measures which I deemed most prudent, in view of the general sentiment of Kentucky, to insure a thorough organization of colored troops in this State, with the least possible feeling upon the subject by the people. In view of the hostility toward the recruiting of colored troops in Kentucky by a very considerable part of our population (including all rebels and many

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*See June 13, p.429.

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