HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF SOUTHWEST MISSOURI,
Springfield, Mo., March 10, 1864.
Adjutant Second Arkansas Cavalry, Cassville, Mo.:
Freeman is reported to me to be below Jacksonport, but this may not be correct. Move forward the five companies of your regiment ordered to Rolling Prairie as expeditiously as possible. The officer in command will immediately communicate with the officer in command at Yellville, and if Freeman in concentrating and it is known where, 300 men of the two commands will at once be sent forward to attack Freeman, and wipe him out. This force will move in such a course as to enable it to support and be supported by the troops left at the stations. The quartermaster trains that have unloaded at Yellville should be sent out by way of Cassville.
JOHN B. SANBORN,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF NORTH MISSOURI,
Macon, March , 1864.
Major O. D. GREENE,
I desire to bring to the notice of the major-general commanding a subject which is exciting a good deal of interest in my district, and which is likely, to result in serious trouble if not in violence and bloodshed. I am advised that Lieutenant Colonel A. Jacobson, assistant provost-marshal-general, on his recent tour of inspection through this district, instructed several of the assistant provost-marshals recruiting colored troops, and may have instructed all, that it was their duty to send out the detachment of soldiers (which is assigned to each one of them as a guard) to scour the country in quest of colored recruits, to visit the farms and kitchens of all citizens, and to bring in every able-bodied negro they could find.
He instructed them further that a slave who had enrolled himself and was afterward rejected became free (which is true, as it should be); that when such negro returned to the country and made the demand upon any assistant provost-marshal, it was his duty to send his guard with the negro to seize and bring away his family by force and turn them over into the custody of the discharged negro, to be carried by him wheresoever he might choose to take them. Several assistant provost-marshals have called upon me to know if such instructions were consistent with existing laws and military orders. I have given it as my opinion that they were not, and that they were especially inconsistent with General Orders, No. 35, current series, from department headquarters.
This whole thing upon a single point: Does the Government desire to escort to impressment to put the negroes in the service? If so, it can be done.
If the President will issue an order requiring the owners of all ablebodied negroes in the State to bring them forward and deliver them to the assistant provost-marshal of their respective district within twenty days, one-half of that period would not elapse until the last man would be in. If the Government desires further to take those unfit for service, and the women and children, and to deport them from the State, and the President will make an order requiring