War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0115 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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Since the foregoing was made up General Sheridan, by telegraph of September 21, reports the following numbers (approximate) of white troops ordered mustered out:

Texas................................................ 7,500

Louisiana............................................ 2,000

Florida.............................................. 800

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Total................................................ 10,300

Thus left remaining.................................. 216,311

THOMAS M. VINCENT,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,

September 14, 1865.

STATE OF OHIO, EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,

Columbus, September 16, 1865.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: We have had, and are almost daily receiving in various forms, a great number of petitions and complaints from our volunteers against their detention in the service.

Passing without comment their murmuring as to their food, exposures, diseases, &c., as being in fact unavoidable incidents to all military service, and perhaps in habit of all volunteer soldierings, I beg leave in accordance with repeated promises to them thus to call the attention of the Department and of the President to their case.

They complain bitterly, not only against their detention in the service as a matter of right on the part of the National Government, or of duty and obligation upon theirs as a class, but also on account of their won special and peculiar calamity in being thus kept in an arduous and painful service, wholly unanticipated by them, whilst their friends and late comrades have been discharged and are living happy and useful at home. Of course the latter complaint (derived from a comparison of their fortunes with those of others), though natural enough, can constitute by itself no sound reason for their discharge-since in any army it may well become the policy and duty of the Government to discharge one part before another and before their legal term may have expired.

But after all the consideration I can give this case and the questions which underlie it, it does seem to me that their first, the general complaint, that all and any of the volunteers who are detained beyond the period of actual war and the time necessary in the mere processes of their discharge are unlawfully and unjustly detained, is well founded. I can see no legal authority in keeping up that army or any part of it for any other service or services than those specified in the laws and in the proclamations of the President. And it seems to me, too, that the proceeding is inequitable and hard in its operation whether the other ends of detaining them shall be good, wise, and practicable, or the contrary. These were not a part of their obligations and duties when they enlisted in contemplation of either party, probably, and

stand as indicated by the figures herein. Missouri, General Pope reports, will be completed by October 15. General Thomas has ordered five regiments of black troops, say 4,000, from Department of Tennessee to Department of Alabama to replace an equal number of white troops in that department with view to their muster out. The white troops thus relieved should be mustered out by October 10.