previous next

[263] or soldier shall impress or force to labor, for any private purpose whatever, any negro; and negro labor shall not be impressed or forced for any public purpose, unless under orders from these headquarters, or because of imperative military necessity, and where the labor of white citizens would be compelled, if present. And any order of any officer compelling any labor by negroes or white citizens shall be forthwith reported to these headquarters, and the reasons which called for the necessity for such order be fully set forth.

In case of a necessity compelling negro or white labor for the purpose of building fortifications, bridges, roads, or aiding transportation or other military purpose, it shall be the duty of the Superintendent of Negroes in that district to cause employment-rolls to be made of those so compelled to labor, and to present said rolls, as soon as the necessity ceases, to the Assistant Quartermaster of the district, that the laborers maybe paid; and the Superintendent shall see that those that labor shall have proper subsistence, and may draw from the Commissary of Subsistence rations therefor. Any officer offending wilfully against the provisions of this order, will be dismissed the service, subject to the approval of the President.

And no negro shall be impressed into military service of the United States, except under orders from these headquarters, by a draft, which shall equally apply to the white and colored citizens.

Tenth. The theory upon which negroes are received into the Union lines, and employed, either as laborers or soldiers, is, that every negro able to work, who leaves the rebel lines, diminishes by so much the producing power of the rebellion to supply itself with food and labor necessary to be done outside of military operations, to sustain its armies; and the United States thereby gains either a soldier or a producer. Women and children are received, because it would be manifestly iniquitous and unjust to take the husband and father, and leave the wife and child to ill-treatment and starvation. Women and children are also received when unaccompanied by the husband and father, because the negro has the domestic affections in as strong a degree as the white man, and however far South his master may drive him, he will sooner or later return to his family.

Therefore it is ordered: That every officer and soldier of this command shall aid, by every means in his power, the coming of all colored people within the Union lines; that all officers commanding expeditions and raids shall bring in with them all the negroes possible, affording them transportation, aid, protection, and encouragement. Any officer bringing or admitting negroes within his lines shall forthwith report the same to the Superintendent of Negro Affairs within his district, so they may be cared for and protected, enlisted, or set to work. Any officer, soldier, or citizen who shall dissuade, hinder, prevent, or endeavor to hinder or prevent any negro from coming within the Union lines; or shall dissuade, hinder, prevent, or endeavor to prevent or hinder any negro from enlisting; or who shall insult, abuse, ridicule, or interfere with, for the purpose of casting ridicule or contempt upon colored troops, or individual soldiers, because they are colored, shall be deemed to be, and held liable under the several acts of Congress applicable to this subject, and be punished with military severity for obstructing recruiting.

Eleventh. In consideration of the ignorance and helplessness of the negroes, arising from the condition in which they have been heretofore held, it becomes necessary that the Government should exercise more and peculiar care and protection over them than over its white citizens, accustomed to self-control and self-support, so that their sustenance may be assured, their rights respected, their helplessness protected, and their wrongs redressed; and, that there be one system of management of negro affairs,

It is ordered: That Lieutenant-Colonel J. Burnham Kinsman, A. D. C., be detailed at these headquarters, as General Superintendent of Negro Affairs in this department, to whom all reports and communications relating thereto, required to be sent to these headquarters, shall be addressed. He shall have a general superintendence over all the colored people of this department; and all other Superintendents of Negro Affairs shall report to Lieutenant-Colonel Kinsman, who is acting for the Commanding General in this behalf

All the territory of Virginia south of the James River shall be under the superintendence of Captain Orlando Brown, Assistant Quartermaster. All the territory north of James River shall be under the superintendence of Captain Charles B. Wilder, Assistant Quartermaster. The District of North-Carolina shall be under the superintendence of Rev. Horace James, Chaplain.

Each Superintendent shall have the power to select and appoint such Assistant Superintendents for such sub-districts in his district as may be necessary, to be approved by the Commanding General; such appointments to be confirmed by the Commanding General.

The pay of such assistant, if a civilian, shall in no case exceed the pay of a first-class clerk in the quartermaster's department.

It shall be the duty of each Superintendent, under the direction of the General Superintendent, to take care of the colored inhabitants of his district, not slaves, under the actual control of a loyal master in his district, (and in all questions arising as to freedom or slavery of any colored person, the presumption shall be that the man, woman, or child is free or has claimed protection of the military authorities of the United States, which entitles the claimant to freedom;) to cause an accurate census to be taken of colored inhabitants in his district, and their employments; to cause all to be provided with necessary shelter, clothing, food, and medicines; to see that all able to work shall have some employment, and that such employment shall be industriously pursued; to see that in all contracts for labor or


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
United States (United States) (3)
Richmond (Virginia, United States) (2)

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
J. Burnham Kinsman (2)
Charles B. Wilder (1)
Horace James (1)
Orlando Brown (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: