previous next
[246] it would not be better to exclude negroes altogether from the lines. The General is of the opinion that they bring much valuable information, which can not be obtained from any other source. They are acquainted with all the roads, paths, fords, and other natural features, of the country: and they make excellent guides. They also know, and frequently have exposed, the haunts of Secession spies and traitors and the existence of Rebel organizations. They will not, therefore, be excluded.

The following order was issued by a Brigadier in the Department of the Gulf:

In consequence of the demoralizing and disorganizing tendencies to the troops of harboring runaway negroes, it is hereby ordered that the respective commanders of the camps and garrisons of the several regiments, 2d brigade, turn all such fugitives in their camps or garrisons out beyond the limits of their respective guards and sentinels. By order of

Col. Halbert E. Paine,1 4th Wisconsin, declining to obey this order, as “a violation of law for the purpose of returning fugitives to Rebels,” was arrested and deprived of his command.

Lt.-Col. D. R. Anthony, 7th Kansas, was likewise arrested and deprived of his command in Tennessee, for issuing2 an order, which said:

The impudence and impertinence of the open and earned Rebels, traitors, Secessionists, and Southern-rights men of this section of the State of Tennessee, in arrogantly demanding the right to search our camp for fugitive slaves, has become a nuisance, and will no longer be tolerated. Officers will see that this class of men, who visit our camp for this purpose, are excluded from our lines.

Should any such person be found within our lines, he will be arrested and sent to headquarters.

Any officer or soldier of this command, who shall arrest and deliver to his master a fugitive slave, shall be summarily and severely punished, according to the laws relative to such crimes.

Maj.-Gen. David Hunter, having succeeded3 to command at Hilton Head, issued the following:

headquarters Department of the South, Hilton head, S. C., May 9, 1862.
General Order, No. 11.
The three States of Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina, comprising the Military Department of the South, having deliberately declared themselves no longer under the United States of America, and having taken up arms against the United States, it becomes a military necessity to declare them under martial law.

This was accordingly done on the 25th day of April, 1862. Slavery and martial law in a free country are altogether incompatible. The persons in these States--Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina--heretofore held as slaves, are therefore declared forever free.

This order was rescinded or annulled by President Lincoln, in a Proclamation4 which recites it and proceeds:

And, whereas, the same is producing some excitement and misunderstanding, therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, proclaim and declare that the Government of the United States had no knowledge or belief of an intention on the part of Gen. Hunter to issue such proclamation, nor has it yet any authentio information that the document is genuine: and, further, that neither Gen. Hunter nor any other commander or person has been authorized by the Government of the United States to make proclamation declaring the slaves of any State free; and that the supposed proclamation now in question, whether genuine or false, is altogether void, so far as respects such declaration. I further make known that, whether it be competent for me, as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, to declare the slaves of any State or States free; and whether at any time, or in any case, it shall have become a necessity indispensable to the maintenance of the Government to exercise such supposed power, are questions which, under my responsibility, I reserve to myself, and which I can not feel justified in leaving to the decision of commanders in the field.

Those are totally different questions from those of police regulations in armies or in camps.

On the sixth day of March last, by a

1 Elected to the XXXIXth Congress (House) as a Unionist, from the Milwaukee District.

2 June 18, 1862.

3 June 18, 1862.

4 May 19.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
David Hunter (3)
Thomas Williams (1)
Halbert E. Paine (1)
Abraham Lincoln (1)
A. Lincoln (1)
House (1)
D. R. Anthony (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
June 18th, 1862 AD (2)
May 9th, 1862 AD (1)
April 25th, 1862 AD (1)
May 19th (1)
March 6th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: