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[245] strong anti-negro prejudices, quite commonly experienced a gradual change, under the discipline of service at the front, where they found every Black their ready, active, zealous friend, and nearly every slave-holder or overseer their quiet but deadly, implacable foe. Maj. Tolen, commanding the 2d regiment, finding the order to direct the admission of but nine persons, ordered the residue to remain without the lines; and — the repugnance of the soldiers to slave-hunting threatening to break out into open violence--Gen. Sickles, who arrived soon afterward, ordered the nine out of camp likewise; so that the fugitives, if such were there, were not there captured.

In the West, especially within the commands of Gens. Halleck and Buell, slave-hunters fared much better; as one of their number about this time admiringly reported to a Nashville journal, as follows:

He visited the camp of Gen. McCook, in Maury county, in quest of a fugitive; and that officer, instead of throwing obstacles in the way, afforded him every facility for the successful prosecution of his search. That General treated him in the most courteous and gentlemanly manner; as also did Gen. Johnson and Capt. Blake, the brigade Provost-Marshal. Their conduct toward him was in all respects that of high-toned gentlemen, desirous of discharging their duties promptly and honorably. It is impossible for the army to prevent slaves from following them; but, whenever the fugitives come into the lines of Gen. McCook, they are secured, and a record made of their names and the names of their owners. All the owner has to do is to apply, either in person or through an agent, examine the record, or look at the slaves: and, if he finds any that belong to him, take them away.

In no case does it appear that any of our pro-Slavery commanders ever inquired into or cared for the loyalty of either slaveholders or slave-hunters, nor asked whether the persons claimed as fugitives had given important information, or rendered other service to the cause of the Union.

In the same spirit, Gen. Buell's Provost-Marshal, Dent, at Louisville, Ky., issued an order to his (mounted) provost-guard to flog all Blacks, free or slave, whom they should find in the streets after dark; and for weeks the spectacle was exhibited, to the admiration of the thousands of active and passive Rebels in that city, of this chivalric provost-guard, wearing the national uniform, chasing scores of unquestionably loyal and harmless persons at nightfall through the streets, over the pavements, and down the lanes and alleys, of that city; cutting and slashing them with cowhide and cat, while their screams of fright and agony made merry music for traitors of every degree. Many were lashed unmercifully; but with no obvious advantage to the national cause, nor even to the improvement of the dubious loyalty of those whom the exhibition most delighted and edified.

Gen. Abner Doubleday, being placed in command of the defenses of Washington, answered,1 through his Adjutant, to an inquiry on the subject, as follows:

Sir:--I am directed by Gen. Doubleday to say, in answer to your letter of the 2d instant, that all negroes 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 claimed as fugitive slaves; as it can not be (done without determining their character.

The additional article of war recently passed by Congress positively prohibits this.

The question has been asked, whether

1 April 6, 1862.

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