, being about to take possession of the counties of Accomac
and Northampton, Va.
, on the eastern shore of Chesapeake Bay
a Proclamation, which says:
The military forces of the United States are about to enter your counties as a part of the Union.
They will go among you as friends, and with the earnest hope that they may not, by your own acts, be forced to become your enemies.
They will invade no rights of person or property.
On the contrary, your laws, your institutions, your usages, will be scrupulously respected.
There need be no fear that the quietude of any fireside will be disturbed, unless the disturbance is caused by yourselves.
Special directions have been given not to interfere with the condition of any person held to domestic service; and, in order that there may be no ground for mistake or pretext for misrepresentation, commanders of regiments and corps lave been instructed not to permit any such persons to come within their lines.
, soon after succeeding Gen. Fremont
in command in Missouri
, issued his famous “Order no. 3,” which sets forth that
It has been represented that important information, respecting the number and condition of our forces, is conveyed to the enemy by means of fugitive slaves who are admitted within our lines.
In order to remedy this evil, it is directed that no such persons be hereafter permitted to enter the lines of any camp, or of any forces on the march ; and that any now within such lines be immediately excluded therefrom.
afterward, in a letter to F. P. Blair
, explained and justified this order, as follows:
Order No. 3 was, in my mind, clearly a military necessity.
Unauthorized persons, Black or White, free or slave, must be kept out of our camps, unless we are willing to publish to the enemy every thing we do or intend to do. It was a military, and not a political order.
I am ready to carry out any lawful instructions in regard to fugitive slaves which my superiors may give me, and to enforce any law which Congress may pass.
But I can not make law, and will not violate it. You know my private opinion on the policy of confiscating the slave property of Rebels in arms.
If Congress shall pass it, you may be certain that I shall enforce it. Perhaps my policy as to the treatment of Rebels and their property is as well set out in Order No. 13, issued the (lay your letter was written, as I could now describe it.
That deserters from the enemy, entering the lines or camp of an army in time of war, are “unauthorized persons,” is quite obvious; that they very often give false information, and are in fact spies, deserting back again at the first fair opportunity, is well known.
Yet no commander prior to Gen. Halleck
ever directed deserters to be repelled from his front and thrown back on the enemy; on the contrary, the risks of dissimulation, falsehood, and treachery, are presumed to be far overbalanced by the chance of thus obtaining valuable information and aid. That the Whites
were far more likely than the Blacks to be traitors at heart, and infinitely more apt to steal away to the Rebels
with important information, was as palpable as noonday; yet Gen. Halleck's No. 3
repelled Blacks only.
's order No. 13 sheds no further light on this subject; but. in a subsequent order,2
It does not belong to the military to decide upon the relation of master and slave.
Such questions must be settled by the civil courts.
No fugitive slaves will, therefore, be admitted within our lines or camps, except when specially ordered by the General commanding.
Never was a “therefore” more misplaced.
How were the persons presenting themselves adjudged to be or known as “fugitive slaves” ? Plainly, by the color of their skins, and that only.
The sole end of this regulation was the remanding of all slaves to their masters--seven-eighths of whom were most envenomed, implacable