HDQRS. MILITARY DIFENSES NORHT OF THE POTOMAC,
Washington, April 6, 1862.
Lieutenant Colonel JOHN D. SHAUL,
Commadnding Seventy- sixth Regfiment New york Volunteers.
SIR: I am directed by General Doubleday tosay in answer to your letter of the 2nd instant that all negoes coming into the lines of any of the camps or forts under his command are to be treated as persons and not as chattels.
Under no circumstances has the commander of a fort or camp the power of surrendering persons calimed as fugitive slaves as it cannot be done withojt determining their cahracter.
The additional article of war recently passed by COngress positively prohibits this.
The quuestion has been asked whether it would not be better to esclude negroes altogether from the lines. The general is of the opinion that they bring much valuable information which cannot be obtained from any other source. Theyard acqaintented with all the roads, paths,, fords and otehr natural features of the country and they make excellent guides. They also know and frequently have exposed the haunts of secession spies and traitors and thde existence of rebgel orgainzations. Thy will not threfore be excluded.
The general also directs me to say that civil process cannot be srved directly in the camps or forts of his command without full authority be obtained fromt he commanding officer for that purpose.
I am, very resepctfully, your obedient servant,
E. P. HALSTED,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE SOUTH, Numbers 7.
Fort Pulaski, Cockspur Island, Ga., April 13, 1862.
All persons of color lately held to involutnary service by enemies of the United Sttes in Fort Pulaski and on Cockspur Island, Ga., are hereby cofiscated and declared free in conformity with law, and shall heradfter receive the fruits of their own labor. Such of said persons of color as are able bodied and may be required shall be employed in the quartemaster's deaprtment at the rates hertofore established by Brigadier General T. W. Sherman.
By command of Major General David Hunter:
CHAS. G. HALPINE,
OFFICE COMMISSARY- GENERAL OF PRISONERS,
Coalumbus, Ohio, April 21, 1862.
Honorable DAVID TOD, Governor of Ohio.
DEAR SIR: It is not deemed necessary to detain any longer as prisoners of war the negroes now at Camp Chase and I request you will cause them to be released, but as many of these persons have had no experience in providing for themselves I would advise that only three or four be released at a time to give them the better opportunity of finding employment and to prevent excesses
See p. 810.