I have important duties to perform on the Mississippi River I shall proceed thither. During my absence I request that you will take the organization of the colored troops into your hands and fill them up as rapidly as possible, and will, of course, station them at such places as you may think best. I of course include the regiments to be organized at Paducah and Covington, although these places are not within your command. After these regiments are completed I further desire you to organize any additional negroes into companies and regiments, and furnish me with a roster of the officers you may recommend for them, and in all cases where they have passed a satisfactory examination I will give the appointments. General Sherman has desired me to place colored troops at Bowling Green, Clarksville, and on the Tennessee River, say at the terminus of the Northwestern Railroad. Please do this when you can spare the troops. General Rosecrans also desires a regiment at Saint Louis, which would be very useful for recruiting purposes. Should you have a regiment to spare for this purpose, please communicate with that general on the subject.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WAR DEPT., PROV. March GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 28.
Washington, D. C., July 25, 1864.
Skilled mechanics and operatives employed in the armories, arsenals, and navy-yards of the United States who shall be drafted, and, on examination, held to service, will not be required to report for duty under such draft so long as they remain in the aforesaid service, provided the officer in charge shall certify that their labor as mechanics or operatives is necessary of the naval or military service.
JAMES B. FRY,
ORDERS Numbers 25.] LEXINGTON, KY., July 25, 1864.
I. It is known that many slaves in Kentucky have left their owners without intending to enter the service of the United States, and that they have resorted to the towns, or are roving around the country. In all such cases it is only necessary for the owners of such refugees to report to the provost-marshal and make known their wish for their slaves to be placed in the service, and it will be the duty of the provost-marshal to arrest such fugitives and deliver them for enlistment. The commander of the District of Kentucky will give such further directions as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this order.
II. Information has been received that persons are in the habit of coming with a view of persuading slaves to run away and pass into the free States bordering on the Ohio, where they are enlisted for the bounties, the negroes receiving but a small portion thereof. In such cases the State of Kentucky fails to receive credit on her quota of troops. The military authorities, as well as the provost-marshals in the State, are ordered, and the navy on the Ohio River are requested, to take possession of all such negroes and deliver them to the nearest military commander, in order that they may be enlisted in Kentucky regiments.
By order of the Secretary of War: