War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0798 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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the camp whom he desires to recover. Through his wife he has made several infeectual efforts to induce the boy willingly to go while he still persists in remaining. Aggreable to General Halleck's order I have turned them from our camp. Some have returned. The policy I have hitherto adopted has been to offer no obstacle to the recovery of all fugitives at the same time affording no assistance to those who come for the avowed purpose of such recovery. In this instance I feel that duty as an officer would dictate that so far from sending the black boy back to support the family while the natural protector abandoning them for the purpsoe of aiding those in arms against us that I s hould rather retain him in some useful employment for the Government. I am personally free to admit that in my opinion the politic course to be pursued is when the slves of known rebels come and reamin within our lines after exhausting the order of General Halleck to put them as before said in a shape that they may contribute to the general good of the Government.

Still I desire to report the particular case of Doctor Henderson to you that I may obtain the well-digested advice of the district commander. I am satisfied that if those who escape are permitted to return for the purpose of family support Thompson's comand in this department will hold together much longer than if the men composing the same could be compelled by the necessities of their families to leave the army for the purpose of their support.

Very truly, yours, respectfully,

L. F. ROSS,

Colonel, Commanding.

HDQRS. OF THE ARMY, ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,

Washington, January 2, 1862.

Brigadier General M. C. MEIGS, Quartermaster-General.

SIR: The Secretary of War directs that such of the old and infirm negroes of the Arlington estate, Virginia, as may be unable to provide for themselves be furnished with such necessary articles of coarse clothing as the officer commanding at Arlington for the time being may approve and order. The state is now in the sole possession of the United States, and all the means left for the maintenance of these people have been taken for public purposes. * * *

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. THOMAS,

Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

Washington, January 7, 1862.

Brigadier General AMBROSE E. BURNSIDE,

Commanding Expedition.

GENERAL: * * * I would urge great caution in regard to proclamation. In no case would I go beyond a moderate joint proclamation with the naval commander which should say as little as possible about politics or the negro. Merely state that the true issue for which we are fighting is the preservation of the Union and upholding the laws of