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[188] plantation arrangement along the Mississippi under the commissioners as well as the management of numerous infirmary camps passed, about the close of 1863, from the War to the Treasury Department. A new commission or agency, with Mr. W. P. Mellen of the Treasury at the head, established more careful and complete regulations than those of General L. Thomas; this time it was done decidedly in the interest of the laborers.

Then came another change of jurisdiction. On March 11, 1865, General Stephen A. Hurlbut at New Orleans assumed the charge of freedmen and labor for the state of Louisiana. He based his orders on the failure of the Secretary of the Treasury to recognize the regulations of that Secretary's own general agent, Mr. Mellen. Mr. Thomas W. Conway was announced as “Superintendent of home colonies,” the word having a larger extension than before. A registry of plantations, hire and compensation of labor, with a fair schedule of wages, penalties for idleness and crime, time and perquisites of labor, the poll tax of $2 per year, liens and security for work done, were carefully provided for by General Hurlbut's specific instructions.

General Edward R. S. Canby, a little later, from Mobile, Ala., issued similar orders, and Mr. Conway was also placed over the freedmen's interests in his vicinity. Thus the whole freedmen's management for Alabama, Southern Mississippi, and Louisiana was concentrated under Mr. Conway's control. He reported early in 1865 that there were about twenty colored regiments in Louisiana under pay and that they could purchase every inch of confiscated and abandoned land in the hands of the Government in that

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