War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0766 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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Baltimore, Md., August 25, 1861.

Major General G. B. MCCLELLAN,

Commanding Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: Early this morning three negro men came to Fort McHenry representing themselves to be runaway slaves from Anne Arundel County. I declined to receive them into the fort on the ground that I could neither harbor them as fugitives from service nor arrest them for the purpose of restoring them to their masters. In a former letter I stated the view I take in regard to my duty in such cases, and having no instructions from the Government I acted on it and directed the negroes to leave the fort.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding.


Cape Girardeau, Mo., August 30, 1861.

Captain J. C. KELTON, Saint Louis, Mo.:

* * * *

The fortifications here are in a considerable state of forwardness, and I would judge from visiting them this afternoon are being pushed forward with vigor. I notice that a number of contrbands in the shape of negroes are being employed apparently much to their satisfaction. I will make inquiry how they came here, and if the fact has not been previously reported ask instructions.

* * * *


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

WASHINGTON, D. C., September 2, 1861.

Major-General FREMONT.

MY DEAR SIR: Two points in your proclamation of August 30* give me some anxiety:

First. Should you shoot a man according to the proclamation the Confederates would very certainly shoot our best men in their hands in retaliation; and so man for man indefinitely. It is therefore my order that you allow no man to be shot under the proclamation without first having my approbation or consent.

Second. I think there is great danger that the closing paragraph in relation to the confiscation of property and the liberating slaves of traitors owners will alarm our Southern Union friends and turn them against us, perhaps ruin our rather fair prospect for Kentucky. Allow me therefore to ask that you will as of your own motion modify that paragraph so s to conform to the first and fourth sections of the ac of Congress entitled "An act to confiscate property used for insurrectionary purposes," approved August 6, 1861, and a copy+ of which act I herewith send you.


*See Fremont's proclamation of martial law, p. 221.

+Not found.