War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0123 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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pated, for he very soon delegated the duties to another officer; first to Lieutenant-Colonel Hammond, and afterward to Colonel Brisbin, the latter of whom I placed at the head of the Fifth U. S. Colored Cavalry. The reports of these officers came to me through Major-General Burbridge, but they had nothing to do with the establishment of the system, but only carried out what had been ordered.

At this time I found it next to impossible to obtain the necessary medical officers for the colored regiments. The grade of surgeon could readily be filled by the promotion of assistant surgeons of volunteers, but few, except an occasional contract medical officer, would take the position of assistant surgeon. As the sanitary condition of the men required a greater number of medical officers, I ordered on the 8th of July Surg. B. W. Sergeant, on my staff, to proceed to the Eastern States and endeavor to procure form the graduates of the medical schools as many physicians as possible, the number then required being some 120. By his energy and activity he procured quite a number, who, having passed the medical board at Boston and elsewhere, were duly appointed, and the service was greatly benefited by this measure.

July 16 Brigadier-General Pile was relieved as superintendent in Missouri and assigned to duty in the field, and Brigadier General Thomas Ewing, jr., stationed at Saint Louis, was charged with the duty, who performed it satisfactorily and with ability.

May 1, 1865, pursuant to your instructions, I directed the discontinuance of all recruiting of colored men in the Departments of the Missouri and Arkansas and the Military Divisions of the Mississippi and West Mississippi, and also consolidated some of the incomplete regiments, thus discontinuing three regiments in Kentucky, one in Tennessee, and two in Arkansas. Before this order could be received by the troops operating in the field three additional regiments were organized from the negroes gathered by Major-General Wilson on his march through Georgia under the standing instructions, and these regiments were retained in service.

Very many of the regiments were filled to the maximum standard, and others to the maximum of 800, when ordered to stations on the Mississippi River and elsewhere, or sent to the field; but as recruiting for them was continued, and nearly all received recruits after organization, it is proper to estimate their numbers at the maximum standard, up to which in mass they undoubtedly came.

The whole of my operations in the West and Southwest in the organization of colored troops may be given as follows:

Forces Officers Enlisted men Aggregate


1 regiment of infantry 36 1,000 1,036


5 regiments of infantry 180 5,000 5, 180

2 regiments of cavalry 84 2,400 2,484

1 battery of light 5 100 105


3 regiments of heavy 204 5,040 5,244



13 regiments of infantry 468 13,000 13,468

3 batteries of light 15 300 315


3 regiments of heavy 204 5,040 5,244


14 regiments of infantry 504 14,000 14,504