War of the Rebellion: Serial 049 Page 0364 OPERATIONS IN N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLI.

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BALTIMORE, October 21, 1863.

(Received 6. 45 p. m.)

The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES,

Washington, D. C.:

The delegation from Saint Mary's County have grossly misrepresented matters. Colonel Birney went under my orders to look for a site for a camp of instruction and rendezvous for colored troops. (See his report this day forwarded to the Adjutant-General.) He took with him a recruiting squad, who were stationed, each with one officer, at Millstone, Spencer's, Saint Leonard's, Duke's, Forest Grove, and Benedict Landings, on the Patuxent. They are under special instructions, good discipline, and have harmed no one. The only disorder or violence has been that two secessionists, named Southern, have killed Second Lieutenant White at Benedict; but we hope to arrest the murderers. The officer was a white man. The only danger of confusion must be from the citizens, not the soldiers, but Colonel Birney himself visited all the landings, talked with the citizens, and the only apprehension they expressed was that their slaves might leave them. It is a neighborhood of rabid secessionists. I beg that the President will not intervene, and thus embolden them.

ROBT. C. SCHENCK,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS SAINT MARY'S DISTRICT,

Point Lookout, Md., October 21, 1863.

Lieutenant JOHN MIX,

Commanding Detachment Second and Fifth U. S. Cavalry:

You will, with 1 commissioned officer and 106 men of your command, proceed by way of the Three Notched road to Leonardtown, in the county of Saint Mary's, at which place you will establish your headquarters. You are charged with the duty of suppressing contraband trade and all disloyal practices, arresting deserters and escaped prisoners, and preserving the public peace. The more effectually to accomplish these objects, you will send small detachments of your force to Charlotte Hall, Chaptico, the mouth of the Patuxent River, and such other points as you may deem necessary. All blockade runners you will cause to be arrested, their goods seized and sent to this point.

It is reported that some persons are now engaged near the mouth of the Patuxent and above there in enlisting into the military service slaves and free persons of color without proper authority from the War Department. You will inquire into the matter, and if you find such to be the case you will cause them immediately to desist and to leave this military district forthwith, if they are not residents therein.

You will take with you rations and forage for three days, and afterward supplies will be sent to Leonardtown for your detachment. I desire that you will be particularly careful that no depredations are committed by any of the men under your command upon the property of any person whatever.

You will report by mail as often as every other day.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GILMAN MARSTON,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.