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[638] objectionable section. Preparations for this election were commenced by the issue of an order of the military commander prescribing stringent regulations relative to the requisites of voters for registration. The election was held on November 30 and December 1, 1869, and the constitution was ratified. The vote against disfranchising citizens for serving under the Confederacy during the war was almost unanimous. The so-called legislature assembled on January 11, 1870. The fourteenth and fifteenth amendments of the United States Constitution were adopted, and on February 12th an act of Congress was passed by which the state was permitted to be represented in that body.

At the beginning of 1865 Louisiana was under the state government constructed by General Banks, as has been stated in previous pages. It occupied New Orleans, and extended its control to the extremity of the military lines. Within this limit it was treated practically as a restored portion of the Union. The United States military draft was enforced. Much disorder in civil affairs prevailed, and some serious disturbances occurred up to the time when Congress undertook its plan of restoration. There was, in fact, a military rule during all that period. On March 19, 1867, Major General Sheridan was assigned to the command of the Fifth Military District, embracing Louisiana and Texas, in accordance with the act of Congress of March 2d. By this act the existing state government was ‘declared to be only provisional, and subject to be abolished, modified, controlled, or superseded.’ Major General Sheridan began his proceedings with the removal of certain obnoxious officials who were, in his opinion, dangerous to the peace of the community. The registration of voters was ordered to commence on May 1st. To an application to General Grant, the commanderin-chief, for more definite instructions, by Major General Sheridan, the former replied on June 28th:

Enforce your own construction of the military bill, until ordered to do otherwise.

The legislature having appropriated four million dollars for the repairs of levees, and appointed a board to discharge the duties, Governor Wells became dissatisfied with their action, and appointed another board. Disputes arising between the two boards, Major General Sheridan removed both and appointed a third, and enforced its authority. In April Major General Sheridan, writing to General Grant, said:

I fear I shall be obliged to remove Governor Wells, of this State, who is impeding me as much as he can.

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