On the 5th of December, 1862, an order was issued by the War Department, directing that the Provost-Marshal-General should proceed to carry out the provisions of the act of Congress of July 17, 1862, below mentioned.
And on the 24th of September, 1862, in General Orders, Numbers 139, of the War Department, a proclamation by the President of the United States was published for the information and government of the Army, and all concerned, in which the ninth and tenth sections of said act of Congress were set out as follows:
SEC. 9. And be it further enacted, That all slaves of persons who shall hereafter be engaged in rebellion against the Government of the United States, or who shall in any way give aid or comfort thereto, escaping from such persons, and taking refuge within the lines of the army; and all slaves captured from such persons, or deserted by them, and coming under the control of the Government of the United States; and all slaves of such persons found on or being within any place occupied by rebel forces, and afterward occupied by the forces of the United States, shall be deemed captives of war, and shall be forever free of their servitude, and not again held as slaves.
SEC. 10. And be it further enacted, That no slave escaping into any State, Territory, or the District of Columbia, from any other State, shall be delivered up, or in any way impeded or hindered of his liberty, except for crime, or some offense against the laws, unless the person claiming said fugitive shall first make oath that the person to whom the labor or service of such fugitive is alleged to be due is his lawful owner, and has not borne arms against the United States in the present rebellion, nor in any way given aid and comfort thereto; and no person engaged in the military or naval service of the United States shall, under any pretence whatever, assume to decide on the validity of the claim of any person to the service or labor of any other person, or surrender up any person to the claimant, on pain of being dismissed from the service.
By which ordered of the War Department, it was published to the Army, and all concerned, that the President did enjoin upon and order all persons engaged in the military and naval service of the United States to observe, obey, and enforce, within their respective spheres of service, the act and sections above recited.
And whereas there are large numbers of slaves in this department that belonged to rebels in arms, and disloyal men who have given them aid and countenance by such acts and conduct as are above specified; and also a large number of men who defy said of Congress and order of the War Department, by pursuing and attempting to hold as slaves those who, by said act of Congress, are declared to be free of their servitude and captives of war; and as captives are entitled to full protection to their persons from all enemies of the Government and opposers of the law:
XIV. Now, all provost-marshals within this department are hereby commanded to protect the freedom and persons of all such captives or emancipated slaves against all persons interfering with or molesting them; and they will arrest all persons guilty of such conduct.
XV. And whereas it is represented to the major-general commanding that the slaves of disloyal men, emancipated by said of Congress, are kept imprisoned and confined in both the public and private jails, but not upon criminal charges, it is hereby made the duty of provost-marshals to examine into all such cases and report the facts to the provost-marshal-general.
XVI. And all persons disobeying any proper order of a provost-marshal in relation to emancipated slaves will be arrested, the evidence taken against them, and tried for violation of military orders.
XVII. And that loyal men may not be interfered with in their rights, whenever slaves seek protection, under circumstances provided for in said act of Congress, it shall be the duty of all provost-marshals to take evidence as to the facts; and upon ascertained that the slave is one of