WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Washington, July 12, 1864.
Brigadier General J. HOLT,
Judge-Advocate-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: The Secretary of War directs me to request you to proceed at the earliest practicable moment to the State of Kentucky, and have a personal conference with His Excellency Governor Bramlette and Major-General Burbridge in relation to military and political affairs in that State, and also the administration of military justice. The particular object of your mission will be to make yourself acquainted with the facts in regard to secret and open organizations against the Government intended to afford aid and comfort to the enemy, and to ascertain the operations of disaffected and disloyal persons in Kentucky acting in conjunction with persons of similar disposition in other States. You are aware that information has reached the Department from various quarters for some time that such organizations exist in the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, and Missouri, having for their object the embarrassment of the Government in its military operations, and possibly to incite armed opposition and rebellion.
Another subject to which your attention is directed is the execution of the laws in regard to the enlistment of colored recruits in the State of Kentucky, and to any secret or open hostility manifested by disloyal persons against such enlistments. You will ascertain the extent to which such opposition goes, and the manner of its operation, and then consider in your conference with Governor Bramlette or General Burbridge, one or both of them, what measures, if any, should be adopted by the Government upon this subject in order to enforce the acts of Congress and the regulations of the Department, and to bring to trial and punishment those who are guilty of opposition to the laws relating thereto. You will please make diligent inquiry as to the manner in which colored persons enlisted into the service are treated, and whether any, and if so what, measures are necessary to secure to them that military justice and protection to which they are entitled from the Government. You will make reports to the Department of such things as you may deem require remedy before you return, and make a detailed report upon the whole subect when your investigations shall have closed.
From Louisville you will pleake similar investigation there.
It is not the design of these instructions to limit your investigations to the specific subjects therein stated, but simply to call them specially to your attention. You will extend your observation to any matters relating to the service that in your judgment are required by the public safety.*
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. D. TOWNSEND,
STATE OF MAINE, EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,
Augusta, July 13, 1864.
Whereas, rumors are rife that the National Capital is in danger, the rebel hordes having once more attempted the invasion of loyal
*For report, see Series I, Vol. XXXIX,, Part II, p. 212.