Doc. 178.-Government of the Freedmen.
Vicksburgh, Miss., September 29, 1863.Special orders, No. 63: I. The following regulations for the government of freedmen are announced for the information and government of all concerned. II. All male negroes, who after examination shall be found capable of bearing arms, will be organized into companies and regiments. All others, including men incapable of bearing arms, women and children, instead of being permitted to remain in camps in idleness, will be required to perform such labor as may be suited to their several conditions, in the several staff departments of the army, on plantations, leased or otherwise, within our lines, as wood-choppers, or in any way that their labor can be made avail. able. For the carrying out these regulations, there will be established a system of general and local supervision. III. The Quartermaster's Commissary and Medical Department will issue supplies necessary for the care and employment of these people, on the requisition of the properly authorized officers. IV. All freed people, by whomsoever employed, will be paid for their labor as already ordered, or as hereafter may be determined by the Commanding General of the Department. V. A tax of ten per cent on all labor rated at six dollars per month, or above, will be deducted from monthly payments and paid to Superintendents by all officers and private individuals employing or having in charge colored laborers, to be expended according to order for providing for the sick and otherwise dependent. VI. Transportation will be furnished for persons and goods, for the benefit of these people, on Government transports and military railroads within the Department, on the order of the General Superintendent. VII. Citizens voluntarily laboring for the benefit of these people, saving as they do to the Government cost of labor in providing for their care, will, when properly accredited by the General Superintendent, be entitled to rations, quarters, and transportation on Government transports and military railroads within the Department. By order of the Secretary of War.
L. Thomas, Adjutant-General.