RECRUITING IN ADJACENT STATES -
And more especially detailed to superintend the recruiting in East and Middle Tennessee. I have recruited somewhat in Georgia, considerably in Northern Alabama, and slightly in North Carolina.
Prior to the advance of the armies of the Military Division of the Mississippi last spring we were able to get a few recruits from inside the enemy's lines by means of negroes employed for that purpose. Some were also obtained for the First U. S. Colored Artillery from North Carolina. Recruiting in Northern Alabama, or the pocket, was chiefly done by our agents, who accompanied cavalry expeditions. Some 300 were obtained for the Seventeenth U. S. Colored Infantry. One of our agents with General W. Sooy Smith, upon his expedition into Northern Mississippi, brought back about 800 men, who were put into regiments in Memphis.
When recruiting stations were opened at Gallatin and Clarksville slaves ran away from their owners in Kentucky - some came as far as from Louisville - to enlist. Eventually the Kentuckians saw that this losing of men to their quota did not pay. In March and April last I consulted with the acting assistant provost-marshal- general of Kentucky as to enlisting slaves there openly, and suggested that if under the new enrollment act negroes were drafted or volunteered they might be organized here, inasmuch as the people of Kentucky did not seem to be willing there should be armed negroes in their State. This was acceded to, and the recruiting was begun there in April.
By the time the One hundredth U. S. Colored Infantry was organized I had received numerous letters from loyal Kentuckians praying for the formation of colored regiments in their State.
A telegram of mine to the chief of the Colored Bureau requesting permission to recruit in that State, dated June 7, 1864, was answered by a direction to consult with the Adjutant-General at Louisville, Ky. Pursuant to that order I visited General Thomas and General Burbridge. General Burbridge did me the honor to request that I might be sent into Kentucky to superintend the organization of colored troops there. But General Thomas preferred that I should remain in Tennessee. General Burbridge also declined the services of recruiting agents supported by the Boston committee military fund, upon the ground that their labors were superfluous, as recruiting was progressing so rapidly, and were calculated to awaken opposition from Kentuckians.
From that time to this, beyond an occasional answer to letters from Kentucky asking my opinion, & c., on certain matters connected with recruiting, and the furnishing of names of passed applicants to the Adjutant-General for appointment into Kentucky regiments, I have had nothing to do with recruiting colored troops in Kentucky.
RECRUITING FOR LOYAL STATES.
Last winter a gentleman in Boston asked by opinion as to the propriety of Northern States filling their quotas by recruiting in the disloyal States.
Strong objections to the plan presented themselves to me, which I urged. The objections I presented have proven practically to be greater than I stated them.
About 400 recruits have been obtained from Georgia and Alabama for Northern States under the system and presented at the rendezvous here, Camp Foster.