Unionists), and to bring the Union party, if possible, up to the true standard of loyalty, I regarded it as eminently necessary to proceed with some caution in the matter. The objects of my first caution being removed, several days ago I gave directions for organizing colored troops in this State, and was assured by the War Department that I should be sustained in the matter. My purposes were to organize colored troops in this State and officer them, as far as possible, with Kentucky officers. My next object was to garrison all fortifications by my colored troops, and use my white troops for other and more active duties. But in the midst of my arrangements I find that your orders to General Chetlain conflict with my intentions by taking the enlistment and organization of colored troops out of my hands. This is especially peculiar, inasmuch as I am charged with the military conduct of the State, and have no control over a part of the forces quartered in my district, and a part of the forces to which I relied on to assist in conducting the defenses.
The numerous cases of unpleasant perplexities arising out of this conflict of jurisdiction will readily suggest themselves to your mind-such as irregularities of enlistment, marauding by the recruits, abuse of authority of those placed in charge of the troops, promises I have made in regard to the organization of this class of troops, thinking it would be left in my control, &c. You must be apprised that any grievance would be readily submitted to me as military commander, and that I would be powerless to offer prompt redress. I believe, general, that I do not exceed the truth, and I hope I do not trespass upon modesty when I say that being a Kentuckian and a large slave-holder, the people of Kentucky will feel less hostility to the organization of colored troops in this State if conducted under my supervision than if controlled by any authority outside of the State. I respectfully submit the foregoing for your consideration.
I am, general, very respectfully,
S. G. BURBRIDGE,
Indorsement in relation to steel guns.
July 4, 1864.
Respect returned to the Secretary of War.
The experience with wrought-iron rifled field guns is most favorable to their endurance and efficiency. They cost less than steel, and stand all the charges we wish to impose upon them. For smooth-bore field guns, bronze is good enough, and the material valuable after the guns become, from any cause, unserviceable, more so than steel. No instance has occurred during the war where they have been so severely tested of the 12-pounder bronze gun having worn out or of its bursting. There are considerations to be well weighed before committing the Department to any large purchase of steel guns. The large steel guns made by Krupp for the Russian Government are said not to come up to expectation. We should, therefore, not accept the virtue of steel as an established fact until it is thoroughly tried in the forms in which it is to be used. I cannot, therefore, for the present recommend that an order be given to exceed one battery of six 12- pounder steel guns, and these for experimental purposes.
GEO. D. RAMSAY,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Ordnance.