families calling for them, under such restrictions for the protection of the Government as they deem necessary. Families who are able to pay for the provisions drawn will in all cases be required to do so. 5. Conduct disgraceful to the American name has been frequently reported to the Major-General commanding, particularly on the part of portions of the cavalry. Hereafter, if the guilty parties cannot be reached, the commanders of regiments and detachments will be held responsible, and those who prove themselves unequal to the task of preserving discipline in their commands, will be promptly reported to the War Department for “mustering out.” Summary punishment must be inflicted upon all officers and soldiers apprehended in acts of violence or lawlessness.
General Thomas's order.
Vicksburgh, Miss., August 18, 1863.special orders No. 45.-Under instructions from the Secretary of War, the undersigned hereby announces his return to this region of the country for the purpose of continuing the organization into the military service of the United States of all able-bodied male persons of African descent, who may come within our lines, or who may be brought in by our troops, or who may already have placed themselves under the protection of the Federal Government; also to take such measures as may prove most beneficial for the welfare of all women, children, aged and infirm persons of African descent who may have sought refuge within our lines, or who may hereafter do so. In future all able-bodied male negroes of the above class will at once be organized by such officers as may be detailed for that duty, into the military service of the United States, when they will be assigned to regiments composed of persons of African descent now in process of formation or to be formed hereafter. It has become apparent that the system of receiving all negroes who may have sought the protection of our Government, and allowing them, in many instances, to remain in a state of almost inactivity, has become at times not only injurious to the interests of the service, but to the welfare of the negroes themselves, resulting in habits of idleness, sickness, and disease. It is further considered expedient that all children and families of negro descent who may hereafter be desirous of seeking refuge within the lines of the United States troops, be advised to remain on the plantations or elsewhere where they have heretofore been in a state of servitude, provided such place be under the control of the National troops. All such negroes will receive the protection of this Government while they remain in the locations that may be designated, and all such persons as may be authorized to occupy plantations or other places will be permitted to employ these families and children in any capacity most suited to their ability. All male negroes who are incapacitated by old age, ill health, or in any other respect, from serving in regiments of African descent, will be duly cared for and assigned as heretofore to the nearest camp for such persons. By order of the Secretary of War,
General Banks's order.
headquarters Department of the Gulf, New-Orleans, August 21, 1863.General order.--I. Colonel John S. Clark, Major B. Rush Plumley, and Colonel George H. Hanks are hereby appointed a commission to regulate the enrolment, recruiting, employment, and education of persons of color. All questions concerning the enlistment of troops for the Corps d'afrique, the regulation of labor, or the government and education of negroes, will be referred to the decision of this commission, subject to the approval of the commanding general of the department. II. No enlistments for the Corps d'afrique will be authorized or permitted, except under regulations approved by this commission. III. The Provost-Marshal General will cause to be enrolled all able-bodied men of color, in ac. cordance with the law of conscription, and such number as may be required for the military defence of the department, equally apportioned to the different parishes, will be enlisted for military service under such regulations as the Commission may adopt. Certificates of exemption will be furnished to those not enlisted, protecting them from arrest or other interference, except for crime. IV. Soldiers of the Corps d'afrique will not be allowed to leave their camps, or wander through the parishes, except upon written permission, or in the company of their officers. V. Unemployed persons of color, vagrants, and camp-loafers, will be arrested and employed upon the public works by the Provost-Marshal's department, without other pay than their rations and clothing. VI. Arrests of persons and seizures of property will not be made by colored soldiers, nor will they be charged with the custody of persons or property, except when under the command and accompanied by duly authorized officers. VII. Any injury or wrong done to the family of any soldier, on account of his being engaged in military service, will be summarily punished. VIII. As far as practicable, the labor of persons not adapted to military service will be provided in substitution for that of enlisted men. IX. All regulations hitherto established for the government of negroes, not inconsistent herewith, will be enforced by the Provost-Marshals of the different parishes, under direction of the Provost-Marshal General.