WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE, Washington, D. C., February 27, 1865.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN,
Commanding Mil. Div. of the Mississippi, Hilton Head, S. C.:
GENERAL: By direction of the Secretary of War the following instructions in regard to the appointment of officers of U. S. colored troops are respectfully furnished for your information and guidance:
First. All authority heretofore given commanding generals of armies, departments, or other officers to appoint officers to U. S. colored troops will cease from the date of the receipt of these instructions, except for new regiments to be raised or for regiments now in process of organization.
Second. When a new regiment or organization is completed, a roster of the officers appointed thereto, showing date of appointment and muster in each case, will be forwarded to the Adjutant-General's Office for the action of the President, by whom all appointments and promotions in such organizations will henceforward be made.
Third. Regimental or other commanders of old organizations will forward their recommendations for appointments and promotions through the proper commanding generals, who are requested to indorse their opinions thereupon, and at the same time nominate meritorious non-commissioned officers and soldiers of white regiments for appointment as second lieutenants to fill the vacancies likely to be caused by the promotions recommended. Recommendations of this character must state in each case the strength of the command to which the party is nominated for appointment. In the case of a company officer the letter of the company must be given, and when a junior officer is recommended for promotion in preference to a senior of the same grade, the causes disqualifying the senior officer must be clearly stated.
Commanding generals of armies, departments, or corps are authorized to convene examining boards when in their opinion it shall be necessary and expedient to determine to qualifications of candidates for promotion in the line of appointment as second lieutenants.
Field officers for old organizations will be appointed as prescribed by Circular Numbers 49, of 1864, from this office, a copy of which is herewith.*
Fourth. No provisions herein contained will be construed as doing away with existing regulations governing the subject of musters.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, &c.,
C. W. FOSTER,
Assistant Adjutant-General of Volunteers.
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington City, February 28, 1865.
Honorable SCHUYLER COLFAX,
Speaker of the House of Representatives:
SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith a report of the Provost-Marshal-General, in answer to the resolution of the House of Representatives of the 25th instant, inquiring "whether rebel prisoners have been enlisted into our service, have received bounties, and have been credit to quotas of one or more States; and if so, how many
*See June 28, 1864, p.459.