War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0785 CAPTURED AND FUGITIVE SLAVES.

Search Civil War Official Records

they should enter our camp) to their owners whoever they might be. This orer it apperas was handed by Lieutenant-Colonel Palfrey to the officer of the day, Mr. Macy, of Company I. On Sunday morning several negroes came into camp as usual for the purpsoe of selling cakes, pies, &c., to the soldiers. Although having eatables for sale some of these negroes were themselves almost famished and were treated to breakfast by the men of one of our German companies. About the time of guard-mounting the vigilant eyes of Lieutenant Macy espied the negroes as they were disposing of their wares through the company streets and leaving the new guard to be mounted as it might he beckoned two of the negroes to the guard-house when he ordeed them into arrest, and then immediately detailed a file of soldiers under a sergeant with loaded muskets to escort them to their supposed owners and deliver them up. The procedure was therefore unknown to all save the officers who were parties to it, and the parties who composed the escort had no knowledge that their prisoners were suspected fugitives.

HEADQUARTERS EXPEDITIONARY CORPS,

Port Royal, S. C., December 14, 1861.

General LORENZO THOMAS,

Adjutant-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following to the consideration of the general-in-chief and to the War Department:

* * * *

All our work which is immense is done by volunteer soldiers and it all drags for the want of a sufficient number of able directors. Thenegro labor expected to be obtained here is so far almost a failure. They are disinclined to labor and will evidently not work to our satisfaction without those aids to which they have ever been accustomed, viz, the driver and the lash. A sudden change of condition from servitude to apparent freedom is more than their intellects can stand, and this circumstance alone renders it a very serious question what is to be done with the negroes who will hereafter be found on conquered soil.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

T. W. SHERMAN,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS EXPEDITIONARY CORPS,

Port Royal, S. C., December 15, 1861.

General L. THOMAS,

Adjutant-General u. S. Army, Washington, D. C.

SIR: For the information of the proper authorities and for fear lest the Government may be disappointed in the amount of labor to be gathered here from the contrabands I have the honor to report that from the hordes of negroes left on the plantations but about 320 have thus far come in and offered their services. Of these the quartermaster has but about sixty able-bodied male hands, the rest being decrepit and women and children. Several of the 320 have run off. Every inducement has been held out to them to come in and labor for wages and money distributed among those who have labored. The reasons for this apparent failure thus far appear to be these:

First. They are naturally slothful and indolent and have always been accustomed to the lash, an aid we do not make use of.

50 R R-SER II, VOL I