Louisville Kenty  Nov 8, 1861

Sir   I have no instructions from Government on the subject of Negroes,  my opinion is that the laws of the state of Kentucky are in full force and that negroes must be surrendered on application of their masters or agents or delivered over to the sheriff of the County.  We have nothing to do with them at all and you should not let them take refuge in Camp.  It forms a source of misrepresentation by which Union men are estranged from our Cause

I know it is almost impossible for you to ascertain in any case the owner of the negro, but so it is,  his word is not taken in evidence and you will send them away   I am yours

WT Sherman


William Tecumseh Sherman to Alexander McDowell McCook, November 8, 1861, Louisville, Ky., excerpted in Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation ser. 1, vol. 1, 519-520

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