Headquarters of the Army, annulling all restrictions on the purchases of cotton and payment of gold therefor. I cannot see how General Halleck can allow gold, which is universally contraband, thus to pass into possession of an enemy, but I hope his reasons, as usual, are based on a far-seeing policy. I shall of course obey the order and facilitate the trade in cotton and its shipment, but it seems against the grain.
With the exception of small guerrilla bands I hear of no enemy nearer than Holly Springs and Senatobia.
W. T. SHERMAN,
[Inclosure Numbers 1.]
OXFORD, MISS., August 2, 1862.
SAMUEL P. WALKER, Esq.:
DEAR SIR: The Federal army at Helena have taken off by bodies of armed men all my negroes-men, women, and children-some 400 in number. They have taken off and destroyed everything else I had. They killed one of my oversees and had the other three in jail. I have been informed that many of the women and children are wandering about Memphis suffering for food. I also understand that there are 85 young men and women in a cotton-warehouse or negro-mart in Memphis who are also neglected and are suffering for food. It is difficult for me to realize that such conduct is done by the sanction of the Federal officers of rank; but yet the wholesale robbery which has been carried on below would seem to admit of no other conclusion. My object in this communication is to request of you the favor of ascertaining if the reports I have heard are true, viz, if any of my negroes-men, women, or children-are in Memphis, and to inform me of their condition and if any of them will be restored to me or to my agent. Please see if any gang of the negroes are confined in the warehouse or negromart. If cannot imagine what the Federals want with the women and children.
If you can have access to Generals Grant or Sherman please ascertain if these proceedings have been ordered by them or meet with their approval. The law of confiscation does not take effect for some time to come, and my negroes were in no legal sense liable to seizure. If the Federals intend to seize all the negroes and other property within their power we can only say that the time may come for proper reprisals. My brother James' negroes and L. Long's and Thomas Brown's have all been carried off. Please see if any of these negroes are in Memphis and what is their condition.
I have uniformly in Missouri and Kentucky protected the property of Union men as well as their persons from violence. General Crittenden has a plantation and negroes 25 miles below Columbus, on the river, which I decline allowing to be interrupted when in command at Columbus, though applied to for the purpose.
If you cannot have a personal interview either with Generals Grant or Sherman you will please transmit my letter to them. Your attention to this matter will be gratefully remembered. Please send me through same channel an answer.
GID. J. PILLOW,
If any of my negroes are in Helena will you ascertain if Generals Grant or Sherman will have them restored to me, and all such information as you can get?