“The negroes brought within our lines are rightfully recruits for the U. S. service”

It has come to my attention that several states are attempting to fill their quota of soldiers by recruiting from the southern states.  I wrote Sec. Stanton to register my disapproval.

CITY POINT, VA., July 20, 1864.


Secretary of War:

I must enter my protest against States sending recruiting agents into the Southern States for the purpose of filling their quotas. The negroes brought within our lines are rightfully recruits for the U. S. service, and should not go to benefit any particular State. It is simply allowing Massachusetts (I mention Massachusetts because I see the order of the Governor of that State for establishing recruiting agencies in the South, and see no such order from any other State authority) to fill her quota by paying an amount of money to recruits the United States have already got. I must also enter my protest against recruiting from prisoners of war. Each one enlisted robs us of a soldier and adds one to the enemy with a bounty paid il loyal money.



He replied,

WASHINGTON, July 20, 1864 – 2.30 p. m.

Lieutenant-General GRANT:

Your telegram of this date is received. The proposition for recruiting in rebel States by the Executives of other States was neither recommended nor sanctioned by this Department, although the President states in a telegram to General Sherman that he was favorable to it. He also authorized Butler to recruit form prisoners of war. It is not permitted in any other instance. For these reasons your protest has been referred to the President for such instructions as he may be pleased to give.


Secretary of War.


The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 11, p 284-5

O.R., I, xl, part 3, p 345

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