To Edward Bates

Hon Attorney General       Executive Mansion,
Sir:                                           Washington, June 24th. 1864.

By authority of the Constitution, and moved thereto by the fourth section of the act of Congress entitled “An act making appropriations for the support of the Army for the year ending the thirtieth of June, Eighteen hundred and sixty five, and for other purposes,” approved, June 15th. 1864, I require your opinion in writing as to what pay, bounty, and clothing are allowed by law to persons of color who were free on the 19th. day of April, 1861, and who have been enlisted and mustered into the military service of the United States between the month of December, 1862 and the 16th. of June 1864.

Please answer as you would do, on my requirement, if the Act of June 15th. 1864 had not been passed; and I will so use your opinion as to satisfy that act. Your obt Servt A. LINCOLN.

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