From the Richmond Enquirer, 3/23/1865
STATES OF AMERICA
ADJ’T AND INSP’R GEN’LS OFFICE,
Richmond, March 11, ‘65.
Sirs – You are hereby authorized to raise a company or
companies of negro soldiers under the provisions of the act of Congress,
approved March 13, 1865.
When the requisite number shall have been recruited, they
will be mustered into the service for the war, and muster rolls forwarded to
The companies, when organized, will be subject to the rules
and regulations governing the Provisional army of the Confederate States.
By command of the Secretary of War.
W. RIPLEY. A. A. G.
To Major J. W. Pegram, Major T. P. Turner, through Gen.
AN APPEAL TO THE PEOPLE OF VIRGINIA.
It will be seen by the order of the Secretary of War,
published above, that the undersigned have been authorized to proceed at once
with the organization of companies to be composed of persons of color, free and
slave, who are willing to volunteer under the recent acts of Congress and
Legislature of Virginia. It is well known to the country that General Lee has
evinced the deepest interest in this subject and that he regards prompt action
in this matter as vitally important to the country. In a letter addressed by him
to Lieutenant General Ewell, dated March 10th, he says: “I hope it
will be found practicable to raise a considerable force in Richmond.” *
* “I attach great importance to the first experiment, and nothing
should be left undone to make it successful. The sooner this can be accomplished
The undersigned have established a rendezvous on 21st,
between Main and Cary Streets, at the building known as “Smith’s Factory,”
and every arrangement has been made to secure the comfort of the recruits, and
to prepare them for service. It is recommended that each recruit be furnished,
when practicable, with a gray jacket and pants, cap and blanket and good
serviceable pair of shoes, but no delay should take place in forwarding the
recruits in order to obtain these articles.
The Governments, Confederate and State, having settled the
policy of employing this element of strength, and this class of our population
having given repeated evidence of their willingness to take up arms in defence
of their homes, it is believed that it is only necessary to put the matter
before them in a proper light to cause them to rally with enthusiasm for the
preservation of the homes in which they have been born and raised, and in which
they have found contentment and happiness, and to save themselves and their face
from the barbarous cruelty invariably practiced upon them by a perfidious enemy
claiming to be their friends.
Will not the people of Virginia, in this hour of peril and
danger, promptly respond to the call of our loved General in Chief, and the
demand of the Confederate and State Governments? Will those who have freely
given their sons and brothers, their money and their property to the achievement
of the liberties of their country now hold back from the cause their servants,
who can well be spared, and who would gladly aid in bringing this fearful war to
a speedy and glorious termination?
Let every man in the State consider himself a recruiting
officer and enter at once upon the duty of aiding in the organization of this
force by sending forward recruits to our rendezvous. Every consideration of
patriotism, the independence of our country, the safety of our homes, the
happiness of our families and the sanctity of our firesides all prompt to
immediate and energetic action for
the defence of the country. Let the people but be true to themselves and to the
claims of duty and our independence will be speedily secured and peace be
restored within our borders.
J. W. PEGRAM
Major, &c., P. A. C. S.,
THOS. P. TURNER
Major, &c., P. A. C. S.
mh 18 6t
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