War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 0491 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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Now, I think that-too clear indeed to admit of doubt or discussion-that those persons of color who have voluntarily enlisted and have been mustered into our military service, who have been organized with appropriate officers into companies, regiments, and brigades of soldiers, and who have done and are doing in the field and in garrison the duty and service of soldiers of the United States, are not persons of African descent employed under the statute to which I have referred.

I do not find, indeed, in the act any authority to enlist persons of African descent into the service as soldiers. It will be observed that the said twelfth section enumerates two kinds of employment for which those persons are authorized to be enrolled, namely, constructing entrenchments and performing camp service. The section then contains a more general authority-authority to receive such persons into the service for the purpose of performing "any other labor or any military or naval service for which they may be found competent." I am bound, however, by every rule of law respecting construction of statutes to construe these words of more general authority with reference to the character, nature, and quality of the particular kinds of labor and services which are, in the first instance, specifically enumerated in the statute, as those for the performance of which persons of African descent are authorized to be received into the service, and therefore I must suppose that Congress, when it conferred authority upon the President to receive into the service of the United States persons of African descent for the purpose of performing any other labor or any military service for which they may be found competent, meant and intended that other labor and military service should be of the same general character, nature, and quality as that which it had previously in the statute specially named and designated. "Always in statutes," says Coke, "relation shall be made according to the matter precedent." Dwarries says, 'Sometimes words and sections are governed and explained by conjoined words and clauses; noscitur a socio." (Dwarries on Statutes, 604.)

Applying these rules of construction, then, to the act before me, I am constrained to hold that if the authority to enlist and muster into the military service soldiers of African descent depended upon that statute (as it does not), it would furnish no foundation for such authority. It is manifest that the labor and service that U. S. soldiers are enlisted to perform are of an essentially different character from, and are essentially of a higher nature, order, and quality than those kinds of labor and service specially named in the statute and for the performance of which the President is specially authorized to employ "persons of African descent." In my late opinion in the case of the claim of Rev. Samuel Harrison fofty-fourth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers, I expressed the same view when I said that the act of July 17, 1862, chapter 201, "was not intended either to authorize the employment or to fix the pay of any persons of African descent, except those who might be needed to perform the humbler offices of labor and service for which they may be found competent."

This view finds confirmation in a statute that received approval of the President on the same day as the act before me-the statute of July 17, 1862, chapter 195 (12 Stat. 592), which conferred on the President authority to employ as many persons of African descent as he might deem necessary and proper for the suppression of the rebellion, and gave him power to organize and use them in such