War of the Rebellion: Serial 003 Page 0373 Chapter X. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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was the intention of the United States Government to inference with the institution of negro slavery in Missouri or any slave State, or impair the security of that description of property. Of course my answer was most unqualifiedly and almost indignantly in the negative. I told him that I had no means of forming an opinion which was not open to every other private citizen, but that I felt certain that the force of the United States would, if necessary, be delivered for the protection of this as well as any other kind of property. Will your be good enough to spare from your engrossing military duties so much time as may be required to say whether I answered correctly?

I have the honor to be, with the highest respect, your most obedient servant,

THOMAS T. GANTT.

MAY 14, 1861.

THOMAS T. GANTT,

Esq., Saint Louis, Mo.:

SIR: I have just received your note of this date, inquiring whether, in my opinion, you were correct in replying to a citizen of Southwestern Missouri as to the purpose of the United States Government respecting the protection of negro property. I must premise by saying that I have no special instructions on this head from the War Department, but I should as soon expect to hear that the orders of the Government were directed towards the overthrow of any other kind of property as of this in negro slaves.

I entertain no doubt whatever that you answered the question you mentioned correctly. I should certainly have answered it in the same manner, and I think with the very feelings you describe. I am not a little astonished that such a question could be seriously put. Already, since the commencement of these unhappy disturbances, slaves have escaped from their owners, and have sought refuge in the camps of United States troops from Northern States, and commanded by a Northern general. They were carefully sent back to their owners. An insurrection of slaves was reported to have taken place in Maryland. A Northern general offered to the executive of that State the aid of Northern troops, under his own command, to suppress it. Incendiaries have asked of the President permission to invade the Southern States, and have been warned that any attempt to do this will be punished as a crime. I repeat it, I have no special means of knowledge on this subject; but that I have cited, and my general acquaintance with the statesmanlike views of the President, makes me confident in expressing the opinion above given.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. S. HARNEY,

Brigadier, General, Commanding Military Department of the West.

EAST SAINT LOUIS, ILL., May 15, 1861.

Honorable SIMON CAMERON,

Secretary of War:

I think it of the utmost importance that an additional regiment, consisting exclusively of Irishmen, should be raised in Saint Louis. It will at once settle matters in Saint Louis, and do away with the prejudice against the Government troops, which consist almost exclusively of Germans.

WM. S. HARNEY,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.