HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH,
General ISAAC I. STEVENS,
GENERAL: I am authorized by the War Department to form the negroes into "squads, companies, or otherwise," as I may deem most beneficial to the public service. I have concluded to enlist two regiments to be officered from the most intelligent and energetic of our non-commissioned officers; men who will go into it with all their hearts. If you have any such, please appoint them to officer all the companies you can furnish me except the first. For the first company to be raised at Beaufort I have appointed Captain Trowbridge and two lieutenants from the Volunteer Engineer Regiment. Captain Trowbridge has orders to report to you, and you will very much oblige me if you will furnish him with a good company as soon as possible, and then send him down to report to me. And send, also, other companies as fast as you can have them organized. The noncommissioned officers appointed as officers will not be dropped from the rolls of their respective companies till their new appointments shall have been approved by the President.
Very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
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