|General Hunter vs. Col. Louis Bell
|Law Enacting an Additional Article of War
In January 1862, Thaddeus Stevens, the Republican leader in the House, called for total war against the rebellion to
include emancipation of slaves, arguing that emancipation, by forcing the loss of enslaved labor, would ruin the rebel
economy. On March 13, 1862, Congress approved a "Law Enacting an Additional Article of War" which stated that
from that point onward it was forbidden for Union Army officers to return fugitive slaves to their owners. It prohibited
all officers or people in the military or naval service of the United States from employing any of the forces under their
respective commands for the purpose of returning fugitives from service or labor who escaped from any persons to
whom such service or labor was claimed to be due; and provided that any officer found guilty by a court-martial of
violating this article should be dismissed from the service.
An Act to make an additional Article of War.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
That hereafter the following shall be promulgated as an additional article of war for the government of the army of the
United States, and shall be obeyed and observed as such:
Article. All officers or persons in the military or naval service of the United States are prohibited from employing any of
the forces under their respective commands for the purpose of returning fugitives from service or labor, who may have
escaped from any persons to whom such service or labor is claimed to be due, and any officer who shall be found guilty
by a court-martial of violating this article shall be dismissed from the service.
SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That this act shall take effect from and after its passage.
APPROVED, March 13, 1862.
General Orders, No. 27 Hdqrs. Dept of the South, Hilton Head, Port Royal, SC August 17, 1862
I. The Seventh Regiment of New Hampshire Volunteers, Colonel Putnam, will be held in readiness to embark for Saint
Augustine, Fla., of which place it will hereafter form the garrison. Lieutenant-Colonel Sleeper, of the Fourth Regiment
of New Hampshire Volunteers, on being relieved by Colonel Putnam, will embark with the several companies of his
regiment now at Saint Augustine for this place.
II. It is with deep regret that the general commanding the department has received several reports against officers for
returning fugitive slaves in direct violation of a law of Congress. It will hardly be believed when it is announced that a
New England colonel is to-day, in the second year of the rebellion, in arrest for having been engaged in the manly task
of turning over a young woman, whose skin was almost as white as his own, to the cruel lash of her rebel master.
III. Numerous acts of pilfering from the negroes have taken place in the neighborhood of Beaufort, committed by men
wearing the uniform of the United States. I cannot and will not call them soldiers. To enable General Saxton to have
these petty thieves arrested and sent to this post for punishment the three companies of the Fourth Regiment of New
Hampshire Volunteers now at Beaufort will be placed exclusively under his command, for service on the plantations.
Major Drew, or the officer commanding these three companies, will be directed by General Brannan to report
immediately to General Saxton for orders.
IV. All the furniture left by the rebels on the islands, including that left in the city of Beaufort, is hereby placed under the
exclusive jurisdiction of General Saxton.
By Command of Maj. Gen. D. Hunter;
Ed. W. Smith,
First Lieut., Fifteenth Infantry, Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen.
|Col Louis Bell
4th New Hampshire