War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0776 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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their whereabouts take their property or that portion of it worth taking; a lso their slaves. Be sure they ae aiding the enemy and then take all they have got. * * * Keep account of everything you take and who it is taken from. I think your idea is a good one about dividing your forces. Let the infantry on returning visit the Pnieys and look out for affairs there. Be careful in taking contraband negroes that their owners are aiding the enemy.

Your obedient servant,


Colonel, Commanding Post at Rolla, Mo.

CAMP NEVIN, KY., November 5, 1861.

General W. T. SHERMAN,

Commanding Department of the Cumberland.

GENERAL: The subject of contraband negroes is one that is looked to by the citizens of Kentucky of vital importance. Ten have come into my camp within as many hours and from what they say there will be a general stampede of slaves from the other side of Green River. They have already become a source of annoyance to me and I have great reason to believe that this annoyance will increase the longer we stay. They state the reasons of their running away that their masters are rank secessionists-in some cases are in the rebel army, and that slaves of Union men are pressed into service to drive teams, &c.

I would respectfully suggest that if they be allowed to remain here our cause in Kentucky may be injured. I have no faith in Kentucky's loylaty therefore have no great desire to protect her pet institution-slavery. As a matter of policy how would it do for me to send for their master and deliver the negroes to them on the outside of our lines, or send them to the other side of Green River and deliver them up? What effect would it have on our cause south of the river? I am satisfied they bolster themselves up by making the uninformed believe that this is a war upon African salvery. I merely make these suggestions for I am very far from wishing these recreant masters in possession of any of their property for I think slaves no better than horses in that respect.

I have put the negroes to work. They will be handly with teams and generally useful. I consider the subject embarrassing and must defer to your better judgment.

* * * *


Brigadier-General, Commanding.


Washington, November 7, 1861.

Brigadier General D. C. BUELL.

GENERAL: * * * It is absolutely necessary that we shall hold all the State of Kentucky. Not only that but that the majority of its inhabitants shall be warmly in favor of our cause, it being that which best subserves their interests. It is possible that the ocnduct of our political affairs in Kentucky is more important than that of our military operations. I certainly cannot overestimate the importance of the former. You will please constantly bear in mind the precise issue for which we are fighting. That issue is the preservatioin of the Union and the restoration of the full authority of the General Government over all portions