“I will send you four regiments of colored infantry, or more if they can be used to advantage”

I received the following from Gen. Pope, who is having trouble with discipline among our volunteer soldiers now that the war is over.

SAINT LOUIS, Mo., October 10, 1865.
Lieutenant-General GRANT:
I wrote you through General Sherman about ten days since requesting authority to consolidate into one regiment and re-enlist for one year the Second and Third U. S. Volunteers, whose terms of service expire this month. All the volunteer regiments on the plains are dissatisfied and mutinous, and are even now rapidly deserting. Unless other troops
which are reliable can be had to replace them, I very much fear that before winter sets in they will abandon the posts and stores on the plains, It is now too late in the season to send regular regiments to the remote posts, and I wish to reorganize the two regiments (Second and Third U. S. Volunteers) so as to keep them where they are. They

are good soldiers, in good discipline, and unless I can reorganize themat once I fear we shall have great difficulty on the plains. Pleaseanswer.
Major- General.

I replied,

WASHINGTON, October 14, 1865
Major-General POPE, Saint Louis, Mo.:
I will send you four regiments of colored infantry, or more if they can be used to advantage, to take the place of white volunteers on the plains. Send them as far out as you can this fall. In the spring I think these troops can be used to advantage guarding the highways through Indian Territory and in New Mexico. Let me know if you
think more than four of these regiments can be used to advantage.
Lieutenant- General.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 14, p 337-8

O.R., I, xlviii, part 2, p 1239-40

Comments are closed.