War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 0490 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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one part of the enlistment contracts for the company, the names and residences of the officers elected, and the post-office address of the company rendezvous, be forthwith sent to this office, per mail.

IV. Pay and clothing allowance (the latter $25.09 for 100 days) will commence with date of enlistment, if called into service, but subsistence and quarters will not be furnished until companies rendezvous for regimental organization, which will be ordered as soon as the requisite number are reported as in readiness, and papers returned as aforesaid.

V. Uniforms, clothing, accouterments, arms, &c., and transportation will be provided by the Government and State aid be furnished to families and dependents of volunteers, under provisions of the law of last session from time of rendezvous for regimental organization.

By order of His Excellency Samuel Cony, Governor and commander- in-chief:

JOHN L. HODSDON,

Adjutant-General.

[JULY 14, 1864.-For Sherman to Halleck, concerning recruiting agents in the rebel States, see Series I, Vol. XXXVIII, Part V, pp. 136,137.]

ATTORNEY-GENERAL'S OFFICE,

July 14, 1864.

The PRESIDENT.

SIR: By your communication of the 24th ultimo you require my opinion in writing as to what amounts of pay, bounty, and clothing are allowed by law to persons of color who were free on the 19th day of April, 1861, and who have been enlisted and mustered into the military service of the United States between the month of December, 1862, and the 16th of June, 1864. I suppose that whatever doubt or difficulty may exist with regard to the amount of pay and allowances to which the soldiers to whom you refer are entitled has mainly its origin in the several provisions of the act of July 17, 1862, chapter 201 (12 Stat. 599), relative to the employment of persons of African descent in the service of the United States. The twelfth section of that statute provides:

That the President be, and he is hereby, authorized to receive into the service of the United States, for the purpose of constructing entrenchments or performing camp service, or any other labor, or any military or naval service for which they may be found competent, persons of African descent, and such persons shall be enrolled and organized under such regulations not inconsistent with the Constitution and laws as the President may prescribe.

The fifteenth section of the same statute enacts that "persons of African descent who, under this law, shall be employed, shall receive &10 per month and one ration, $3 of which monthly pay may be in clothing."

The first and main question, therefore, is whether the persons of colored referred to in your letter, who were mustered into the military service of the United States during the period of time which you indicate, are "persons of African descent" employed under the statute of July 17, 1862, chapter 201. If the are not thus employed, their compensation should not be governed and is not regulated by the words of the fifteenth section of that statute which I h ave just quoted.