War of the Rebellion: Serial 119 Page 0140 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

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Army is required by an order from the office of the Adjutant and Inspector-General of the 24th of December, 1862.

No action having been as yet taken on your part, so far as I am informed, to carry into effect the above orders, I deem it my duty to the State to call your attention to the matter and ask that you will turn over to me the said commissioned officers and slaves to be dealt with according to the laws of this State.

The expression in the order as to turning over slaves in arms, namely, "to the executive authorities of the respective States to which they belong," was used by the President under the supposition, I presume, that the slaves would be found in insurrection in the States to which they belong and that he could but mean that they are to be turned over to the executive authorities of those States in which the offense might be committed. But if you should differ from me in this opinion I then request that you will retain them here till the question shall be decided by the President and till my demand for their delivery to me can be made according to law on the Governors of the States to which they respectively belong.

The point as to free negroes is for the present reserved till I can correspond directly with the War Department as to their disposition, and I request that they also be retained.

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

M. L. BONHAM.

[First indorsement.]

CHARLESTON, S. C., July 23, 1863.

Respectfully referred for the consideration and instructions of War Department.

G. T. BEAUREGARD,

General, Commanding.

[Second indorsement.]

JULY 27, 1863.

Respectfully submitted to Secretary of War.

S. COOPER.

Adjutant and Inspector-General.

[Third indorsement.]

SECRETARY OF WAR:

The question presented in this file of papers is whether persons of color belonging to the Army of the United States and captured by the Confederate troops are to be surrendered to the State authorities of the State in which the capture is made when there is no testimony to show that these persons had been slaves in that State.

The ground on which the claim of the State rests is not apprehended.

J. A. CAMPBELL,

Assistant Secretary of War.

GENERAL ORDERS,

WAR DEPT., ADJT. GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 226.

Washington, July 23, 1863.

The county of Saint Mary's, Md., is detached from the Middle Department and will forma separate military district. Brigadier General G. Marston is assigned to the command of Saint Mary's District, headquarters at Point Lookout.

By order of the Secretary of War:

E. D. TOWNSEND,

Assistant Adjutant-General.