of our territory. We shall most readily suppress this rebellion and rstore the authority of the Government by religiously respecting the constitutional rights of all. I know that I express the feelings and opinions of the President when I say that we are fighting only to preserve the integrity of the Union and the consitutional authority of the General Government.
The inhabitants of Kentucky may rely upon it that their domestic institutions will in no manner be interfered with and that they will receive at our hands every constitutional protection. I have onlly to repeat that you will in all respects carefully regard the local instituions of the region in which you command allowing nothing but the dictates of military necessity to cause you to depart from the spirit of these instructions.
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[GEO. B. MCCLELLAN.]
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Louisville, Ky., November 8, 1861.
Brigadier-General MCCOOK, Camp Nevin.
SIR: I have no instructions from Government on the subject of negroes. My opinion is that the laws of the State of Kentucky are in full force and that negroes must be surrendered on application of their masters or agents or delivered over to the sheriff of the county. We have nothing to do with them at all and you should not let them take refuge in camp. It forms a source of misrepresentation by which Union men are estranged from our cause. I know it is almost impossible for you to ascertain in any case the owner of the negro. But so it is; his word is not taken in evidence and you will send them away.
I am, yours,
W. T. SHERMAN,
Port Royal, S. C., November 9, 1861.
[Brigadier General M. C. MEIGS,
GENERAL: * * * Contraband negroes are coming in great numbers. In two days 150 have come in, mostly able-bodied men, and it will soon be necessary to furnish them with coarse clothing.
With great respect, your obedient servant,
Captain, U. S. Army, Assistant Quartermaster.
HEADQUARTERS EXCELSIOR BRIGADE,
Second Brigade, Hooker's Division, November 12, 1861.
Captain WILLIAM H. LAWRENCE,
Aide-de-Camp and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
CAPTAIN: Herewith I have the honor to inclose Colonel Charles K. Graham's report of a reconnaissance of Mathias Point and the peninsula of which it is the terminus.
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