Sherman closed by telling McCook that the slaves' that came to him were not to be believed and that "you will send them away."
Here's the response in its entirety:
Louisville Kenty Nov 8, 1861Sir 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
W. T. Sherman
Sherman image courtesy Library of Congress