Washington, D. C., November 7, 1864.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: Under your special instructions of March 25, 1864, to proceed to the Mississippi River and organize colored troops, I have the honor to report the following as the result thus far:
Iowa, near the Missouri line.- One regiment of infantry.
Arkansas.- Six regiments of infantry.
Tennessee.- Two regiments of heavy artillery, one company of light artillery, and two regiments of infantry.
Mississippi.- One regiment of cavalry, two regiments of heavy artillery, and five regiment of infantry.
Louisiana.- One regiment of cavalry, three companies of light artillery, and six regiment of infantry.
Alabama.- Three regiments of infantry.
Florida.- One regiment of infantry.
Kentucky.- Two regiment of cavalry, two regiments of heavy artillery, and eleven regiments of infantry.
Four Regiment of cavalry............................. 4,800
Six regiments of heavy artillery.....................10,800
Four companies of light artillery................... 720
Forty regiment of infantry...........................40,000
All of the above regiment were organized on the maximum standard, and when entirely complete would give the above-specified number. That number was undoubtedly on the rolls, though some of the regiments may not have been entirely filled when ordered to the field, as the loss by death and other casualties were in many cases made up by recruits. At the present time the aggregate is about 50,000.
In the above enumeration I make no mention of other regiments organized in Tennessee, as they were raised under specific orders from the War Department addressed to others.
No organizations were made in North Georgia, as the few negroes who came within our line were assigned to regiments in Tennessee. In Louisiana only one regiment was organized, because the infantry regiment raised in that State by General Banks were limited to 500 men each, and orders were subsequently given to raise them to 1,000 each. All the recruits, therefore, were necessary for this purpose.
In Kentucky the number on the rolls on the 15th of October was about 17,000, which number would be increased to 20,000, as other organizations had been authorized and were going forward. When this number is obtained, it is recommended that no further regiments be ordered, but that the subsequent recruits be assigned to those already in the service, to keep the up to the maximum standard.
More troops would have been put into the Army but for the pressing demands of the several departments on the Mississippi and for laborers with the troops operating in the field. The number of blacks used in this way, including cooks and servants, must be very large. Most of the labor is done by this class of men, and the forts on the Mississippi River have been mainly thrown up by them. Where white and black troops come together in the same command the latter have to do the work. At first this was always the case, and in vain did I endeavor