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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 2. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), chapter 3.16 (search)
hese sources the supply has been inadequate. A better and more permanent organization of negro labor is demanded for military and civil engineer service, to the extent of about (29,000) twenty-nine thousand men (7,000 being for the Trans-Mississippi Department), not including those needed as teamsters and cooks for the workshops and other local service. It has been made the duty of the bureau, by General Order No. 86, 1864, to organize all the slave labor called under act approved 17th February, 1864, for service with our armies, and officers have been appointed to attend to the same. But up to this time the number of slaves impressed by conscript officers and delivered for organization is small, and I fear unless the impressments are made more rapidly than heretofore, that this labor, so essential, will not be available in time. The organization will be made as rapidly as the negroes are received. There will be required a number of men, chiefly from the reserve forces, as d