The officers will be appointed by the President from such candidates as may be nominated by Major-General Canby, commanding Military Division of West Mississippi, and will be mustered into service on the presentation to the proper mustering officer of their appointments, signed by the Secretary of War.
The troops to be raised under the authority herein granted will not be credited to the quota of any State.
This authority is subject to the approval of Major-General Canby, and also subject to such regulations and modifications as he may deem essential to the service.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, &c.,
Assistant Adjutant-General of Volunteers.
HDQRS. COMR. ORGANIZATION U. S. COLORED TROOPS,
Nashville, August 27, 1864.
Colonel E. D. TOWNSEND,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C.:
COLONEL: I have the honor very respectfully to acknowledge the receipt of a letter from Major General George H. Thomas, addressed to the Adjutant-General of the Army, dated August 9, 1864, and referred to me by yourself under date of August 20, 1864, concerning the organizing of new regiments of colored troops before old regiments are filled to the maximum.
I have the honor to state that since February last I have begun no new regiments of colored troops, with he exception of one regiment formed from Kentucky recruits, of which more hereafter.
In February Adjutant-General Thomas directed the formation of the Fortieth U. S. Colored Infantry and the Ninth U. S. Colored Artillery (Heavy).
The organization of these regiments was necessarily delayed by the policy upon which I acted of filling regiments already commenced to the minimum before I begun new regiments. The Fortieth Regiment to-day has only about 275 men and the Ninth U. S. Colored Artillery only about 147 (a company).
After recruiting for colored troops was permitted in Kentucky for some time all recruits were forwarded here to be organized and assigned. It was at that time thought that Camp Foster would be made permanent rendezvous for the reception and organization of Kentucky recruits, and acting upon what seemed to me the best interest of the service, I organized the first 900 recruits who came into a regiment to serve as a recruiting force for Middle Tennessee and as a guard for Camp Foster. No sooner, however, was the regiment to which I designed to appoint Lieutenant-Colonel Bartholomew, Fifteenth U. S. Colored Infantry, as colonel, raised, than the policy in Kentucky was changed and regiments were ordered to be organized in that State.
Adjutant-General Thomas did me the honor to appoint me to the command of the regiment raised at Camp Foster and immediately organized or authorized several regiments in Kentucky, appointing Lieutenant-Colonel Bartholomew, above mentioned, to the colonelcy of the One hundred and ninth U. S. Colored Infantry. I have made since that time frequent endeavors to procure recruits from Kentucky