There are undoubtedly large numbers of colored recruits to be obtained both in the States of Tennessee and Kentucky, and I hold that, next to the duty of their enlistment, they should be so disposed of as would conduce to the best interests of the service, as well as to their efficiency as soldiers. This for obvious reasons would, I believe, be more fully secured by first filling up organized regiments, and afterward if there be a surplus, giving attention to the formation of new ones.
I submit the above for your consideration, requesting that such instructions may be given Colonel Mussey as will effectually prevent any interference on his part with any endeavor that may now or hereafter be made toward securing recruits in the States of Kentucky and Tennessee for the colored regiments belonging to this department.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. H. THOMAS,
Major-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.
SPRINGFIELD, ILL., August 9, 1864.
Honorable E. M. STANTON:
There are numerous agents from New York and other States recruiting in Illinois for other States. As it is questioned whether there is any civil power to arrest and punish such, will you not immediately issue a military order. This course will prevent injustice and serious trouble.
STATE OF IOWA, ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE, Davenport, August 9, 1864.
The adjutant-general of the State of Iowa claims that he has the same right to demand as the Provost-Marshal-General at Washington has to grant.
The letter of Provost-Marshal-General Fry of the 2nd instant takes exception to the word demand. The adjutant-general of Iowa will demand what he believes to be right at any time and of any man. The letter of the Provost-Marshal-General is supercilious and arrogant, but will not deter the adjutant-general of this State form his duty. If the Provost-Marshal-General wrote the letter of the 2nd instant I have been much mistaken in the officer.
Iowa has done her duty, and she asks no special favors of the Provost-Marshal-General's Department, and, least of all, does the adjutant-general ask for insulting letter during the absence of the Governor on a mission of mercy to our troops in the field. The adjutant-general takes no exception to the point which the Provost-Marshal-General makes that the adjutant-general's letter was not signed by order of commander-in-chief or Governor; but the adjutant-general was not aware that it was necessary to notify the Provost-Marshal-General or any other officer or individual that the Governor was absent at Atlanta, Chattanooga, Nashville, Louisville, or anywhere else, to aid our wounded and sick soldiers. If you want a new "demand" singed "by order of Governor," you shall have it, unless the undersigned is removed from office.
It is freely granted that your Department has paid due attention to requests of this department, and has, as a general rule, accorded to Iowa her just rights.