general commanding as is pretended by the persons who came in quest of the slaves. Besides what appears from the reports of those two officers I have made strict inquiry and do not ascertain nor believe that persons seeking the negroes "were harshly dealt with" by any officers or men of my command, that "the object of their visit was denied" or that they "were abused and threatened in person" as they allege. On the contrary if there was anything offensive in the conduct or condition of any of the parties concerned it appears to have been only on the part of drunken policeman or slave -catcher who attened Mr. Noland on his first visit to the troops when at Camp Sherman on the other side of the river.
The officers and men from these two regiments from Ohio are naturally somewhat excited and indignant at the imputation that they have been "practicing on the abolition system of protecting runaway negroes. " This camp will not be permitted while I have command to be made a harbor for escaping fugitives, but persons owing labor or service to loyal citizens of loyal States if they resort to us shall always be surrendered when demanded on proper order or authority by the lawful owner or his representatives. I will ad that in the particular instancein question I cannot find any negro answering to the name or description I cannot find any negro answering to the name or description of either of the slaves claimed and I do not believe that either of them is in the camp or concealed by the troops. If the owners or their agents should come again with evidence of their rights every facility and assistance will be afforded them to reclaim and secure their property.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
ROBT. C. SCHENCK,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTHEAST VIRGINIA,
Arlington, July 7, 1861.
Respectfully forwarded to the Headquarters of the Army.
An officer of the army will be sent to General Schenck's camp with the owners of the slaves whenever it is desired to make further search for them.
Brigadier-General, Commanding Department.
[Inclosure Numbers 1.]
HEADQUARTERS SCHENCK'S BRIGADE,
Camp Upton, Va., July 6, 1861.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report the following facts in reply to your question touching the claim of Mrs. Carolina F. Noland to a slave said to be either with the First or Second Regiments Ohio Volunteer Militia. Some time about the 20th of June last, I have forgotten the precise date, two gentlemen purporting to be from Maryland called on me at Camp Upton and claimed to be the authorized agent for I believe Mrs. Noland, the owner of a negro said to be in our camp. I told them that if such was the case I was satisfied General Schenck would immediately restore the slave to the owner. But I added that to do this properly it was necessary to bring him evidence of their agency and the fact that Mrs. Noland was the owner of the slave