Two guns of Spoor's battery remain here, and will soon be ready. The Minnesota battery has 149 men, but no guns, horses, or anything in the way of equipment. There are two batteries attached to the Second and Third Michigan Cavalry which have not yet been harnessed up, but shall have immediate attention. Of the unarmed regiments, the two regiments of Michigan cavalry have fine material-men and horses; also Curtis' Horse and the Second Iowa. Ask the general to give as long notice as possible when he orders away any regiment or detachment, for these men are very inexperienced, and say they can start at a given time, when they cannot.
I am, &c.,
W. T. SHERMAN,
SAINT LOUIS, MO., December 26, 1861.
General ASBOTH, Rolla, Mo.:
GENERAL: It would seem, from the report of Major Waring to you (referred to these headquarters), that he had, in compliance with your instructions, delivered to a Captain Holland a fugitive in his camp, claimed by Captain Holland as the property of his farther-in-law. This is contrary to the intent of General Orders, Numbers 3. The object of these orders is to prevent any person in the Army from acting in the capacity of negro-catcher or negro stealer. The relation between the slave and his master or pretended master is not a matter to be determined by military officers, except in the single case provided for by Congress. This matter in all other cases must be decided by the civil authorities. One object in keeping fugitive slaves out of our camp is to keep clear of all such questions. Masters or pretended masters must establish the rights of property to the negroes as best they may without our assistance or interference, except where the law authorizes such interference. Orders, Numbers 3, do not apply to the authorized private servants of officers nor the negroes employed by proper authority in the camps. It applies only to fugitive slaves. The prohibition to admit them within our lines does not prevent the exercise of all proper offices of humanity in giving them food and clothing outside where such offices are necessary to the prevent suffering.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. HALLECK,
PALMYRA, MO., December 26, 1861.
Captain J. C. KELTON,
Chariton Bridge, two span, 150 feet each, Stockton and Collas burned last night. Force in pursuit. Have here 33 bridge-burners and accomplices. What shall I do with them? Have witnesses against them here.
30 R R-VOL VIII