Status: Needs Review

Executive Department;
Montgomery, Ala. May 4th, 1863
Maj. W. P. Vanderveer, Richmond, Va.
Dear Sir; Col. E. A. O'neal, commanding Rodes' Brigade, has written to me relative to sundry parcels of
baggage belonging to that Brigade, which he has sent to your Depôt, & for which you refused to receipt. §. I have written
to Col. O'neal, that, while the rec't & care of such articles was not contemplated by this Department in
establishing the Depôt, yet I saw no objection to your giving a rec't for so many boxes - by their marks
and numbers, with the privilege of turning them over to some safe Depository, should you leave Richd
before they are called-for. I advise you to pursue this course
Resp'y, Y'r ob't Ser't
(Signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

Executive Department;
Montgomery, Ala. May 4th, 1863.
Gen. Braxton Bragg, Comm'g at Tullahoma.
General, I enclose a copy of a letter - just recd from the Hon. S. D. Cabaniss of Huntsville.
The negroes - allued-to were impressed, under my orders, by virtue of an act of the Genl
Assembly of Alabama, to construct defences with the State. §. The Owners of the Slaves
having objected to their removal beyond the State, it becomes my duty to ask - as I
respectfully do, that you will order their return.
With great respect, Y'r ob't Ser't
(Signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

Executive Department;
Montgomery, Ala. May 4th, 1863.
Hon. S. D. Cabaniss, Huntsville Ala.
Sir; Yours of 29th Ult. is before me. Enclosed, you will find a copy of a letter, addressed
by me to Gen. Bragg, on the rec't of yours. I hope the negroes will be returned, without
further trouble to the Owners.
Resp'y, Y'r ob't Ser't
(Signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

Executive Department;
Montgomery, Ala. May 4th, 1863.
J. R. Leonard, Esqr Huntsville, Ala.
Sir; I am in rec't of your letter, of 25th Ult. with respect to abuse, on part of officers, on
the defences at Mobile, as to rations furnished to your Slaves impressed for work at that
point, and have enclosed a copy to Col. Peter Hamilton, my aid, at Mobile, with,
instructions for an investigation; a copy of my letter to Col. H. is enclosed herewith.
In calling for Meat from owners of Slaves impressed, I had assurance from the
Military Authorities at Mobile, that the Meat should be properly distributed to
the negroes, whose owners had furnished it, & I gave full instructions on the
subject, & regret to hear complaints to the contrary
Very Resp'y, (signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

Executive Department;
Col. Peter Hamilton, A. D. C. Mob^ile^ Montgomery, Ala. May 4th, 1863.
Sir; I enclose a copy of a letter from Mr J. R. Leonard, of Russell Co. a gentleman of high
character, whose statements demand, at least, investigation at the hands of the State
Authorities, and remedy for the abuse, if it exist. §. You will, therefore call the attention of the officer
in charge at Mobile, to this matter, that the same may be investigated, & report the
facts, & conclusions to this Department. §. If it should, upon investigation, turn-out
to be true, as regards Mr Leonard's Slaves, the strong probabilities are, (unless the
circumstances attending their rations & condition are peculiar) that the abuse has
extended to the Slaves of other owners, & that may be foundation for the opinion
that the health of the Slaves may have been affected by improper food.

In furnishing rations for their Slaves impressed, the owners expected, from
the assurances given them, that they would be furnished with them in kind
and those assurances should be carried-out.
Very Resp'y,
Y'r ob't Ser't
(Signed) Jno Gill Shorter.

Notes and Questions

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After consulting with manuscript staff at a local University, the use of § is appropriate where a like symbol appears in the above text. It may be an "iodiosyncratic use" as this symbol is usually used in legal documents.