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[235] slaves according to the foregoing provisions: Provided, further, that in making the impressment not more than one of every five male slaves between the ages of eighteen and forty-five shall be taken from any owner, care being taken to allow in each case a credit for all slaves who may have been already impressed under this act, and who are still in service, or have died, or been lost while in service. And all impressments under this act shall be taken in equal ratio from all owners in the same locality, city, county, or district.


Thomas S. Bocock, Speaker House of Representatives. R. M. T. Hunter, President pro-tern. of the Senate. Approved, February 17, 1864.
(Signed,) Jefferson Davis.

II. The Bureau of Conscription will direct the enrolment of all the persons described in the first section of the act aforesaid, east of the Mississippi River, who are not unfit for the service required from them by reason of physical or mental incapacity or imbecility, and shall assign them to the performance of the duties mentioned in the act, or similar duties in any of the military bureaus, or with troops in the field, as there may be any call for such service.

III. Applications for an exemption on the grounds that the interests of the country require it, or because it is demanded by justice, equity, or necessity, will be made to the enrolling office in writing, and will be disposed of by him according to the general directions contained in the regulations published in Orders No. 26, under the “act to organize forces to serve during the war.”

IV. For the execution of the sections in the foregoing act, relative to the employment and impressment of slaves, the provisions of Orders No. 138, of the twenty-fourth October, 1863, will afford the requisite rules for the guidance of the military bureaus and the commanding Generals, with modifications hereafter mentioned. 1st. That slaves shall not be impressed when the services of free negroes can be obtained. 2d. Slaves under the age of eighteen and above the age of fifty are exempt. 3d. The hire for slaves impressed shall be according to the rates fixed by the appraisers under the act to regulate impressments. 4th. The limitation as to the term for which slaves shall be impressed for service shall be for twelve months instead of the term fixed by said orders, if the exigency shall require it.

V. All impressments for service in the various military bureaus under this act shall be by special order upon application to the War Department, disclosing the efforts that have been made to provide other labor specified in the act, the necessity for the impressment, the plan proposed to secure it.

5. The General commanding the Trans-Mississippi Department will superintend the execution of the law for that Department.

By order.

S. Cooper, Adjutant and Inspector-General.

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