position, numbers, &c., of the U. S. troops that you may meet or pass on the road.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
CHESTER HARDING, Jr.,
Colonel, Commanding Post, Paterson, Mo.
HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON, December 9, 1862.
Military Governor of Washington.
GENERAL: I have the honor to state that in the course of investigation of prisoners at the Old Capitol Prison for the past two months I have found a great many prisoners of State whose only objection to taking the oath of allegiance to the United States being apparently that their property and families were beyond the lines of the U. S. forces, and such a course on their part would only subject them to arrest and incarceration by the Confederate authority and their property by the existing laws of the Confederate Government to confiscation.
As the policy of the United States Government and has been to allow persons freedom of opinion and speech and not to make arrests on account of proclivities or sympathies with the Southern Confederacy, I would earnestly suggest that the next commission on the part of the United States for the exchange of civilian prisoners be instructed to confer with the Confederate authorities with the view of preventing the arrest by either Government of any person or person for their sympathies or loyalty to either section, and that such arrests shall not be made unless some overt act has been committed.
By such a course we would soon have a large number of loyal and avowed Unionists in the seceding States, the number increasing as their confidence increased, and this confidence extending through the several Southern States now partially occupied by the U. S. forces. Such a course could not fail to be of incalculable value to the Government and its interests.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN P. SHERBURNE,
DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, December 10, 1862.
Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.
SIR: Mr. Mercier, the minister from France, has submitted to me a correspondence which has taken place between Major-General Butler and Admiral Reynaud* in regard to the case of Mr. Le More, said to be a French subject, whom the general has caused to be confined in Fort Pickens at hard labor with a ball and chain attached to his leg. Mr. Le More is charged by Major-General Butler with having been engaged in supplying the insurgents with stores and with contumacy in refusing to submit to an examination and to produce paperer. But Major-General Butler has promised the admiral that the accused shall have a miliary trial.
*See Butler to Seward, November 29, Vol. IV, this Series, p. 767.