Civil War Letter: U.S. General Butler expresses his concern over escaping slaves (1861)

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A letter from U.S. Commanding General of the Army regarding his concern for the large number of escaping slaves.

us history primary source letter gen butler escaping slaves

“…..Up to this time I have had come within my lines men and women with their children–entire families–each family belonging to the same owner.  I have therefore determined to employ, as I can do very profitably, the able-bodied persons in the party, issuing proper food for the support of all, and charging against their services the expense of care and sustenance of the non- laborers, keeping a strict and accurate account as well of the services as of the expenditure having the worth of the services and the cost of the expenditure determined by a board of Survey hereafter to be detailed.  I know of no other manner in which to dispose of this subject and the questions connected therewith…..”

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