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“ [257] Secretary of War may direct such issues of provisions, clothing, and fuel as he may deem needful for the immediate and temporary shelter and supply of destitute and suffering refugees and freedmen and their wives and children, under such rules and regulations as he may direct.” I said: “The Secretary leaves this matter, General Eaton, to you and to me.” We then submitted a proposed circular letter, which, after a close examination and a few alterations, General Eaton approved.

This important instrument defined the destitute ration in all its parts and fixed the half ration for children under fourteen years. The ration consisted mainly of pork, bacon, or fresh beef, flour, or bread, with occasional issues of corn meal, beans, peas, or hominy with coffee or tea for women. It named the ration returns (requisitions for rations) and required them to be approved and signed by the commanding officer of a post or station, and, when practicable, by an assistant commissioner or one of his agents for the State or district. A seven days supply could be obtained at a time. In cases where the destitute could partially supply themselves, then only such parts of the ration as were actually needed were given. Thus, taking advantage of the army machinery, at a stroke the feeding process was provided for. The general authority for all supplies was put by the law in the hands of the Secretary of War, and so my order after approval by Mr. Stanton required quarterly estimates of all provisions and clothing, and allowed the purchase of rations by teachers and other persons working for refugees and freedmen. A limited transportation was given to teachers on Government transports and railways — of these there were many in those days-and

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A. B. Eaton (2)
Edwin M. Stanton (1)
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