fertile lands; in it a city of the first class, wherein its inhabitants by a large majority are attending to their usual avocations and endeavoring in good faith to live quietly under the laws of the Union, and whoever does not do so is speedily punished and his compeers thereby admonished.
To this city and vicinage has been pledged the governmental protection and inviolability of the rights of property under the laws of the Unites States so long as these conditions of peace and quiet shall be preserved, and that pledge has been accepted by the good, loyal, and peaceful, and the power of the Union is respected by the wicked, so that they have become peaceful, if not loyal. It is found that a large portion of property held is in slaves. They till the soil, raise the sugar, corn, and cotton, load and unload the ships; they perform every domestic office, and are permeated through every branch of industry and peaceful calling. In a large degree the owners of the soil, planters, farmers, mechanics, and small trades have been passive rather than active in the rebellion. All that had real property at stake have been the led rather than the leaders int his outbreak against law and order, In the destruction of cotton and sugar even, which was been so largely effected, the owners and procurers have not been the destroyers, but in many cases the resistant of destruction.
There is still another class. Those actively in arms and those who for motives of gain or worse have aided the rebellion in their several spheres.
The property of these I am hunting out and holding for confiscation under the laws. There is in most cases no military necessity for its immediate confiscation. Such act, if done, would in many instances work injustice to the bona fide loyal creditor, whose interest the Government will doubtless consider. I am only confiscating in fact in cases where there is a breach of a positive order, for the purpose of punishment and example. In all these cases I have no hesitation as to the hinds of property or rights of property which shall be confiscated, and make no distinctions, save that where that property consists in the services of slaves I shall not sell it until so ordered.
Now, many negroes (slaves) have come within my lines. Many have sought to be kept, fed, and to live in the quarters with my troops. Loyal and disloyal masters have lost them alike. I have caused as many to be employed as I have use for. I have directed all not employed to be sent out my lines, leaving them subject to the ordinary laws of the community in that behalf.
I annex all orders and communication to my officers upon this matter up to the date of the transmission of this dispatch.
Now, what am I to do? Unless all personal property of all rebels is to be confiscated (of the policy of which a military commander has no right to an opinion) it is manifestly unjust to make a virtual confiscation of this particular species of property. Indeed it makes and actual confiscation of all property, both real and personal, of the planter if we take away or allow to run away his negroes as his crop is just growing, it being impossible to supply the labor necessary to preserve it. Again, if a portion of these slaves only are to be taken within my lines, and if to be so taken is a benefit to them, it s unjust to those that are not taken. Those tat come early, to us are no means the best men and woman. With them, as with the whites, it is the worse class that rebel against and evade the laws that govern them. The vicious and unthrifty have left punishment of their masters as a rule, the exception