Many of my command wear various articles of your uniform, which they have purchased from deserters from the Federal army, or others coming from Missouri, and it is not done for the purpose of deception (although I contend that would be lawful).
I would be glad if you would inform me in writing, through Captain Wolf, whether you intend to execute the above named order upon regular Confederate soldiers, so that I may notify the department at headquarters and receive instructions as to the cause I am to pursue.
There are hundreds of men, many of them belonging to no organized body of troops, who are running through the country claiming to belong to my command, for the sake of protection when captured. These men are ding the country and citizens great injury, and if they claim they shall not receive my protection. When such fall into your hands and claim to be my soldiers I hope you will investigate the matter. Many of those men do acts of violence both to citizens and soldiers which the laws of war can never justify, and frequently my soldiers are blamed for such acts. I have issued an order to have all such men punished severely whenever found, not only for the good of the country, but for the protection of my own soldiers.
I have many thanks to offer you for the bottle of fine old bourbon you sent me through Captain Grace, and I regret exceedingly that I have not some of the same sort to send you in return, but the country cannot afford, it, and my communications with other sections where it can be obtained is somewhat interrupted at present. I hope, however, it will not be the case much longer.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. R. FREEMAN,
CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT,
Richmond, Va., February 3, 1864.
TO the PRESIDENT OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES:
SIR: Your letter of the 30th ultimo, referring to this Department are solution of the House of Representatives requesting informed "what steps have been taken to provisions of the act of Congress of the 13th October, 1862, chapter 62, in relation to the arrest and disposition of slaves who have been recaptured from the enemy, what number of depots for their safekeeping have been established, and whether public notice has been given in the newspapers of their arrest, as provided in the said act," has been received. I have the honor to inclose General Orders, Numbers 25, of the current series, which shows the measures taken by the Department for the execution of the act of Congress cited. * there has been no return to this Department by the commandants of the camps of instruction of their proceedings under these orders. Some instances of publication under the third paragraph of the orders have come to the notice of the Department, and the orders themselves have been duly promulgated through all the departments and districts of the Army.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of war.
*The order was issued in 1863 (not current series); see Vol. V, this series, p. 844.
58 R R--SERIES II, VOL VI