Between thirty and forty negroes soe of whom returned with the troops and others making their way over in boars obtained on the Virginia shore or enow in Colonel Graham's camp. I will thank you to favor me with instructions as to the disposition to be made of these persons. I presume much reliable information may be gathered from them.
* * * *
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
D. E. SICKLES,
GENERAL ORDERS, HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI, Numbers 3.
Saint Louis, November 20, 1861.
1. It has been represented that important information respecting the numbers and condition of our forces is conveyed to the enemy by means of fugitive slaves who are admitted within our lines. In order to remedy this evil it is directed that no such person be hereafer permitted to enter the lines of any camp or of any forces on the march and that any now within such lines be immediately excluded therefrom.
2. The general commanding wishes to impress upon all oficers in command of posts and troops in the field the importance of preventing unauthorized persons of every description from entering and leaving our lines and of observing the greatest precuation in the employment of agents and clerks in confidential positions.
By order of Major-General Halleck:
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH BRIGADE,
Fort Holt, Ky., November 23, 1861.
General U. S. GRANT,
Commanding District of Southeast Missouri, Cairo, Ill.
GENERAL: Yours of the 14th instant* by the hands of Mr. Mercer is just received to-day, Mr. M. having in my absence refused to place the same for me in the hands of the acting assistant adjutant-general of this post.
Due regard has been paid to your orders previously issued in regard to slave property and am most certain that no portion of the comamnd has either aided or assisted in any manner the enticing or holding of any slave owing service under the laws of any slave State in or out of the Union, and when such have asked protection they have only temporarily obtained it, and I still hold as under previous orders from you any such when in my command in readiness to be instantly turned over either to the lawful owner or any identified agent of said owner. There may be negroes at the fort who have never been liberated but if there are I have never been notified of their presence except in one instance, and I have issued a special order this day to require him under escort to be sent without the lines.
Captain Delano has just informed me that old man Mecer has during the force part of the day given him no little trouble in regard to one