War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0788 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

the fame of your gallant regiment should have been tarnished by an act on the part of one of its officers, the details of which if correctly reported to him prove him to be unworthy of any positionof honor, trust or responsibility in her service or in the service of the Federal Government, and he earnestly hopes that your influence will be exerted to save and protect the soldiers of Massachusetts from any such dirty and despotic work in the future, and humanity itself from such infractions under color of military law and duty.

His excellency also directs me to add that you will oblige him by saying to Captain Macy that had he been informed of his discreditable conduct in this affair after satisfying himself beyond a doubt that he did seize two colored men in the camp of your regiment and order a file of Massachusetts soldiers to guard them and to deliver them into the hands of persons claiming their ownershipwithout investigation and without knowledge that the claimants were loyal or disloyal he would never have signed his commission for promotion, w hich was done he regrets to say at about the time this infamous procedure is siad to have happened.

With great respect, I remain yours, very truly,

THOMAS DREW,

Assistant Military Secretary.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, December 17, 1861.

Honorable H. HAMLIN, President of the Senate.

SIR: In answer to the resolution of the Senate of the 5th instant, asking for copies of any general orders in the Military Department of Missouri relative to fugitive slaves I have the honor to transmit hereiwth a copy of General Orders, Numbers 3,* headquarters Department of the Missouri.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

SIMON CAMERON,

Secretary of War.

SAINT LOUIS, December 18, 1861.

Colonel B. G. FARRAR,

Provost-Marshal-General, Dept. of the Missouri, Saint Louis.

COLONEL: From your verbal statements and the written communication submitted by you yesterday I am informed that there are some sixteen negro men confined in the city prisons in your charge and advertised for sale under a statute of this State. You have stated the facts of the case qas you understand them; have called my attention to the statute of this State on the subject and to the law of Congress of last session and have asked my ordes as to how you shall proceed in this matter-whether to release these men from custody and to place them outside of your particular jurisdiction as a military officer in charge of the prisons in accordance with General Orders, Numbers 3, of this department or whether the sheriff (who as I undestand is now under your orders) is to proceed and sell the said negro men as he has advertised and as is directed by the statute of this State if said statute has not been modified or changed by the law of the last session of Congress.

---------------

*See p. 778 for General Orders, Numbers 3.

---------------