and imperative claims on my time, a much more satisfactory result might have been hoped for; and that in place of only one, as at present, at least five or six well-drilled, brave, and thoroughly acclimated regiments should by this time have been added to the loyal forces of the Union. The experiment of arming the blacks, so far as I have made it, has been a complete and even marvellous success. They are sober, docile, attentive, and enthusiastic, displaying great natural capacities for acquiring the duties of the soldier. They are eager beyond all things to take the field and be led into action; and it is the unanimous opinion of the officers who have had charge of them, that in the peculiarities of this climate and country they will prove invaluable auxiliaries, fully equal to the similar regiments so long and successfully used by the British authorities in the West-India Islands. In conclusion, I would say it is my hope — there appearing no possibility of other reenforcements, owing to the exigencies of the campaign in the Peninsula — to have organized by the end of next fall, and to be able to present to the Government, from forty-eight to fifty thousand of these hardy and devoted soldiers. Trusting that this letter may form part of your answer to Mr. Wickliffe's resolutions, I have the honor to be, most respectfully, your very obedient servant,
D. Hunter, Major-General Commanding.