Commander of the District of Wilmington, N.C.
to the Bureau of Colored Troops

Wilmington, N.C., August 21st, 1865.

Colonel   I have the honor to call your attention to a communication from Maj. Philip Weinmann 37th U.S.C.T dated August 5th 1865--which recommends Q.M. Sergt. John. L. Hodges for promotion as 2nd Lieut. in the 37th Regiment U.S.C.T.--fowarded from these Hd. Qrs. August 8th 1865 "Approved".

I would respectfully state as a matter of justice to the Government, and for the information of the War Dept.--that the said Sergt. Hodges is a colored man,--a fact not known at Post or Disctrict Head Quarters, when the paper in question was forwarded by them.  In deference to the previous practice and supposed policy of the Government in this matter I desire to change my endorsement upon Maj. Weinmann's recommendation to "Disapproved"--  I am Colonel Very respectfully Yr. Obt. Sert

J. W. Ames

[Endorsement]  Head Quarters Dept N Caro--  Raleigh N. Caro--  Aug. 25th 1865   Respectfully forwarded   The endorsement from these Hd Qr of Aug 22d 1865--was made under the impression that Qr Mr Sergt Hodge was a white man.  I respectfully withdraw my recommendation in the case--& desire to change the endorsement to "Disapproved"   Thos H. Ruger  Bvt Maj Genl Comdg

Bvt. Brig. Genl. J. W. Ames to Brevet Colonel C. W. Foster, 21 Aug. 1865, W-738 1865, Letters Received, ser. 360, Colored Troops Division, Adjutant General's Office, Record Group 94, National Archives. According to his military service record, Hodges did not rise above the rank of quartermaster sergeant. (Service record of John L. Hodges, 37th USCI, Carded Records, Volunteer Organizations: Civil War, ser. 519, Adjutant General's Office, Record Group 94, National Archives.)

Published in Ira Berlin, Joseph P. Reidy, and Leslie S. Rowland, eds., The Black Military Experience, series 2 of Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation (Cambridge University Press, 1982), pp. 347-48. Hypertext version courtesy of the Freedmen and Southern Society Project, University of Maryland.

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