CHILLICOTHE, Mo., December 18, 1861.
I arrived here at 5 o'clock to-day, and received your dispatch ordering me from Carrollton east to Brunswick and Glasgow. After arrival here, being without rations and having over 100 sick with measles, will not be abel to move until Friday, to obey your order, which I shall do as early as possible. I am satisfied there is not an organized force of 50 armed rebels north of the Missouri River, and that the State troops could kept the peace if it was for their anxiety to defend the immediately locality of their homes. Of one thing rest assured, our trip has done much good. Besides driving the rebels south, we have satisfied the community that Federal troops could move without committing depredations. That mounted me with me are State troops. Shall I move from here to comply with your dispatch?
B. M. PRENTISS,
ROLLA, Mo., December 18, 1861.
Captain J. C. KELTON,
Captain Wood and command have just arrived from Arkansas line.
They chased Freeman to Springfield, and returned by way of the forks of White River and Houston. There are no forces south and west of here this side of Springfield. McBride is at Springfield.
G. M. DODGE,
Colonel, Commanding Post.
SAIN LOUIS, December 18, 1861.
Colonel B. G. FARRAR,
Provost-Marshal-General, Dept. of the Missouri, Saint Louis:
COLONEL: From your verbal statements and written communication submitted by you yesterday I am informed that there are some sixteen negro men confined in the city prisons in your charge and advertised for sale under a statute of this State.
You have stated the facts of the case as you understand them; have called my attention to the statute on the subject and to the law of Congress of last session, and have asked my orders as to how you shall proceed in this matter-whether to release these men from custody and to place them outside of your particular jurisdiction as a military officer in charge of the prisons, in accordance with General Orders, Numbers 3, of this department, or whether the sheriff (who, as I understand, is now under your orders) is to proceed and sell the said negron men as he has advertised and as is directed by the statute of this State, if said statute has not been modified or charged by the law of the last session of Congress.
As I am informed, most of these negroes came with the forces under Major-General Fremont from Southwestern Missouri and have either been used in the military service against the United States or are claimed by persons now in arms against the Federal Government, but that none of them have been condemed in accordance with the act approved August 6, 1861, and that no proceedings for such condemna tion have ever been instuted.
As I understand the matter, the statute of this State creates the pre