for one day only for the following reason-that I had been informed that citizens of Kentucky had stayed over night in my camp o n board young Mr. Mercer's boat without my knowledge. This prmit me through you to assure the commanding general was intended for neither disrespect to him or disrgard to his order.
As soon as after the issue of General Orders, Numbers 3, headquarters Department of the Missouri, as I discovered the existence of fugitives within my lines I had all that could be found sent beyond the lines, and the guard are regularly instructed not to allow any one to pass unless provided with a pass signed by the commanding general.
The general will doubtless remember the vast length of line the limited number of troops at this post have to gaurd and will doubtelss readily perceive with what little difficulty our lines may be passed either day or night by negroes, since almost if not all the officers employ as servants free negroes from Illinois.
Mr. Mercer reported to the general that the fugitives sought "were found concealed in one of the huts and the owner forcibly prevetned from r ecovering his property. "
After Mr. Mercer obtained the authority to make search no obstacle whatever was thrown in his way to successfully execute it. Mr. Utterback reported to the adjutant (not to me) that he had ben prevented looking under one of the beds in cavalry quarters, and the adjutant informed me that he returned with Mr. U. in person and remained untila satisfatory search was made, and no ocmplaint whatever has been made to by mr. U. or any one else of any threatened villence to any one and especially to parties in the discharge of duty.
The pass over the commanding general's signature to which he alludes received at my hands the earliest attention possible. The delay in its execution was occasioned solely by the lateness of the hour. Mr. Mercer arrived here from Blandville, he having gone there the night before. The pass was dated the 23rd instant and was not presented until the 24th.
Please find below issued in accordance with the general's command:
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH BRIGADE, Numbers 22.
Fort Holt, Ky., December 25, 1861.
In pursuance to Special Orders, District of Cairo, Brigadier General U. S. Grant commanding, commanding officers of regiments and detachments at Fort Holt, Ky., are required to serach or cause to be serached the quarters of their respective commands for fugitive slaves and have all such fugitives fortwith expelled the lines of the camp.
If hereafter any such fugitives are concealed or detained in or about the camp the party or parties so detaining will be brought to punishment.
By order Colonel John Cook commanding Fourth Brigade:
L. R. WALLER,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
No officer more gladly receives or executes to the best of his ability more cheefully orders emanating from headquarters Distict of Cairo than does,
Your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Fourth Brigade.