prepare and forward estimate to put this matter in definite shape. At present the commanding general directs me to request you officially to give it your consideration. The chief difficulties are, of course, the obtaining the money and the doubt as to propriety of paying slave negroes of loyal and of rebel owners not present, or free negroes who cannot prove their being free.
I remain, very respectfully, truly, your obedient servant,
J. ST. C. MORTON.
Brigadier-General, Chief Engineer, Army of the Cumberland.
The necessity for paying them is, that from want, say, nine-tenths have deserted, and I think justly.
W. S. ROSECRANS,
HEADQUARTERS SIXTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Memphis, Tenn., April 29, 1863.
Major General W. S. ROSECRANS,
Dodge is at Tuscumbia. Streight was to leave on Saturday. He is short of horses and mules. Have had no message from Dodge since Saturday. Marine Brigade left Hamburg on Friday; had a sharp skirmish at Dutch River. Gunboats and transports left to-day. Grierson's Sixth Illinois Cavalry have destroyed 20 miles of railroad, between Jackson and Meridian. They have not yet returned.
S. A. HURLBUT,
Washington City, April 29, 1863.
Major General AMBROSE E. BURNSIDE,
Commanding Department of the Ohio, Cincinnati:
A telegram from Louisville, published in the National Intelligence of this morning, contains following paragraph:
During the sale of a lot of negroes at the court-house this morning, the provost-marshal notified the owners that four were free under the President's proclamation. They nevertheless went on, when the matter of the four contrabands was turned over to the district judge, who will take measures to annul the sale.
The President directs me to say to you that he is much surprised to find that persons who are free, under his proclamation, have been suffered to be sold under any pretense whatever; and also desires me to remind you of the terms of the acts of Congress, by which the fugitive negroes of rebel owners taking refuge within our lines are declared to be "captives of war." He desires you to take immediate measures to prevent any persons who, by act of Congress, are entitled to protection from the Government as "captives of war" from being returned to bondage or suffering any wrong prohibited by that act. A detailed dispatch, with instructions will be sent to you to-day. Your vigilant and earnest attention to this subject within your department is specially requested.
EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.