also said that ‘a great deal of sickness might have been avoided, if negroes who had come within our lines had been employed as soldiers, as they wished to be, or in digging ditches and making roads through swamps, which the Northern
soldiers had been employed to do.’
‘General Williams,’ he said, ‘returned these slaves to their owners, who undoubtedly used their stout arms on the defences of Vicksburg, while we are killing white men, digging canals and trenches before Vicksburg.’
On the eighteenth day of March, the Governor
telegraphed to Senator Sumner
I earnestly entreat your immediate attention to mine of Feb. 12, about war steamers.
See the President and Fox, to whom I wrote same date.
Boston is very earnest and solicitous.
Can we do any thing by visiting Washington?
This telegram was also signed by Mr. Lincoln
On the twentieth day of March, the Governor
wrote to Edward S. Tobey
and Samuel H. Walley
I have yours of the 14th inst., and I assure you of the cordiality with which we shall endeavor to co-operate with our citizens and municipalities in defending our coast.
He also refers to the bill for coast defences, then before the Legislature, which he had no doubt would pass, appropriating a million and a half of dollars for that object.
On the twenty-third day of March, the Governor
wrote to George T. Downing
, a well-known and highly respected colored citizen of New York, who had written to him in regard to the position of colored men who might enlist in the volunteer service, and says,—
Their position in respect to pay, equipments, bounty, or any aid and protection, when so mustered, will be precisely the same, in every particular, as that of any and all other volunteers.
When I was in Washington upon one occasion, I had an interview with Mr. Stanton, Secretary of War; and he stated, in the most emphatic manner, that