I had a letter a few days since from General Lawton on the subject of the removal of Colonel Semmes' regiment to Virginia. The general thinks the public interest would be promoted by taking three or four companies of cavalry armed with Sharps or Maynard carbines into the regiment to be raised to take Colonel Semmes' place. The cavalry would be used for rapid skirmish and as sharpshooters along the coast. On yesterday I saw Captain W. J. Lawton, who commands the Dougherty Guards, at Albany. He is armed with Sharps carbines, and says he has tendered to you and that you have agreed to accept him if I will permit him to use the State's arms. In the event you will accept a few companies of cavalry on the coast as part of the regiment to take the place of Colonel Semmes I will order him among the number, and will furnish other companies armed with good carbines. I cannot, however, organize the coast regiment at present unless you will engaged to take charge of the men by your quartermaster and supply their wants while rendezvousing. Please let me know your decision on the points mentioned as soon as convenient.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOSEPH E. BROWN.
AN ACT authorizing the Governor to receive into the military service of the State of Tennessee al free male persons of color between the ages of fifteen and fifty, or such numbers as may be necessary, who may be sound in mind and body and capable of actual service.
SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, That from and after the passage of this act the Governor shall be, and he is hereby, authorized, at his discretion, to receive into the military service of the State all male free persons of color between the ages of fifteen and fifty, or such numbers as may be necessary, who may be sound in mind and body and capable of actual service.
2. That such free persons of color shall receive each $8 per month as pay, and such persons shall be entitled to drawn each one ration per day, and shal a yearly allowance each for clothing.
3. That in order to carry out the provisions of this act it shall be the duty of the sheriffs of the several counties in this State to collect accurate information as to the number and condition, with the names of free persons of color subject to the provisions of this act, and shall, as it is practicable, report the same in writing to the Governor.
4. That a failure or refusal of the sheriffs, or any one or more of them, to perform the duties required shall be deemed an offense, and on conviction thereof shall be punished as a misdemeanor.
5. That in the event a sufficient number of free persons of color to meet the wants of the State shall not tender their service, the Governor is empowered, through the sheriffs of the different counties, to press such persons until the requisite number is obtained.
6. That when any mess of volunteers shall keep a servant to wait on the members of the mess each servant shall be allowed one ration.
This act to take effect from and after its passage.
Passed June 28, 1861.
W. C. WHITTHORNE,
Speaker of the House of Representatives.
B. L. STOVALL,
Speaker of the Senate.