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Statement denying charge of returning slaves, New Orleans, 1862

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Lt. Solon A. Perkins and Lt. Reuben F. Yeaton of the 3rd Co. Massachusetts Cavalry, 2nd brigade, serving in New Orleans wrote a statement contradicting a letter in the New York Times printed on June 19, 1862 that stated that slaves who were allowed into the Custom House, Mint, and other military depots in Union-occupied New Orleans had been "returned to their masters for a consideration."

The two soldiers declared "upon their word and honor as soldiers and gentlemen" that they never directly or indirectly returned slaves to their owners.

They wrote that the charge against them for doing so was "utterly false and without foundation" and that the person making the charge should prove it or "suffer the punishment deserved by the utterers of the atrocious libel on Officers serving under the U.S. Flag."


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