upon his resignation, fully his successor, I have endeavored to carry out the work he so well began. I have striven to do so with as great freedom from personal motives and as much singleness of purpose as I could, and I feel very grateful for the confidence with which the Adjutant-General and yourself have honored me.
I regard and have regarded the organization of colored troops as a very important social, humanitarian, as well as military measure, and as a providential means of fitting the race freed by this war for their liberty.
I have endeavored to impress this view upon the officers appointed to these organizations, and upon the men themselves, showing them that their recognition as men would follow the soldier, and I have now, after a year's labor in this department, more hope and more faith than ever in the capability of the negro to make a good soldier and a good citizen.
I have the honor, major, to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant.
R. D. MUSSEY,
Colonel 100th U. S. Colored Infantry,
Commissioner for Organization U. S. Colored Troops.
GENERAL ORDERS, WAR DEPT., ADJT. GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 270.
Washington, October 11, 1864.
With a view of defining more particularly the duties and functions of the Bureau of Military Justice, it is ordered:
First. The Judge-Advocate-General shall receive, revise, report upon, and have recorded the proceedings of the courts-martial, military commissions, and courts of inquiry of the armies of the United States.
Second. All cases of breach of military law and military orders arising in the Department of Washington, and not otherwise disposed of by the department commander or the Military Governor of the District of Columbia, shall first be forwarded to the chief of the Bureau of Military Justice, who shall assign an officer especially to examine and report upon all cases of this class, and, in addition to which, he shall investigate and report upon such other special cases as may be referred to him by the Secretary of War.
Third. All communications pertaining to questions of military justice, or the proceedings of military courts and commissions, throughout the armies of the United States must be addressed to the Judge-Advocate-General; and commanding officers are enjoined to forward promptly to the Bureau of Military Justice all proceedings of courts-martial, military commissions, and courts of inquiry, together with the orders promulgating decisions thereon. Judge-advocates will be held responsible for the prompt execution of this paragraph, and they are required to forward to the Judge-Advocate-General, at the end of each month, a list of all cases tried and to be tried within their jurisdiction.
By order of the Secretary of War:
E. D. TOWNSEND,