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[264] other things made by the negroes with white persons the negro is not defrauded, and to annul all contracts made by the negroes which are unconscionable and injurious, and that such contracts as are fulfilled by the negro shall be paid; to take charge of all lands and all property allotted, turned over, or given to the use of the negroes, whether by Government or by charity; to keep accurate accounts of the same, and of all expenditure; to audit all accounts of the negroes against Government, and to have all proper allowances made as well to the negro as the Government; and to have all claims put in train for payment by the Government; to keep accurate accounts of all expenses of the negro to the Government, and of his earnings for the Government; to see that the negroes who have wrought on land furnished by the Government on shares shall have their just portion, and to aid in disposing of the same for the best good of the negro and Government; to make quarterly returns and exhibits of all accounts of matters committed to them; and to hold all moneys arising from the surplus earnings of the negro over the expenditures by the United States, for the use and benefit of the negroes, under orders from these headquarters.

Twelfth. It appearing to the Commanding General that some of the labor done by the negroes in this department remains unpaid — some for the space of more than two years, although contracts were duly made by the proper officers of the Government for the payment thereof — whereby the faith of the negro in the justice of the Government is impaired, and the trust in its protection is weakened, it is ordered, that each Superintendent shall be a Commissioner, to audit all such accounts, procure evidence of their validity, make out accurate pay-rolls, and return the same, so that they may be presented for adjustment to the proper departments. Provided, however, that no sale of any such claim against the Government shall be valid, and no payment shall be made of any such claim, except in hand to the person actually earning it — if he is within this department — or to his legal representative, if the person earning it be deceased.

Thirteenth. Religious, benevolent, and humane persons have come into this department for the charitable purpose of giving to the negroes secular and religious instructions; and this, too, without any adequate pay or material reward. It is, therefore, ordered, that every officer and soldier shall treat all such persons with the utmost respect; shall aid them by all proper means in their laudable avocations; and that transportation be furnished them, whenever it may be necessary in pursuit of their business.

Fourteenth. As it is necessary to preserve uniformity of system, and that information shall be had as to the needs and the supplies for the negro, and as certain authorizations are had to raise troops in the department, a practice has grown up of corresponding directly with the War and other Departments of the Government, to the manifest injury of the service: It is, therefore, ordered, That all correspondence in relation to the raising or recruitment of colored troops, and relating to the care and control of the negroes in this department, with any official organized body or society, or any department or bureau of the Government, must be transmitted through these headquarters, as by regulation all other military correspondence is required to be done.

Fifteenth. Courts-martial and courts of inquiry in relation to all offences committed by, or against any of the colored troops, or any person in the service of the United States connected with the care, or serving with the colored troops, shall have a majority of its members composed of officers in command of colored troops, when such can be detailed without manifest injury to the service.

All offences by citizens against the negroes, or by the negroes against citizens — except of a high and aggravated nature — shall be heard and tried before the provost-court.

Sixteenth. This order shall be published and furnished to each regiment and detached post within the department — a copy for every commanding officer thereof — and every commander of a company, or detachment less than a company, shall cause the same to be read once, at least, to his company or detachment; and this order shall be printed for the information of the citizens, once, at least, in each newspaper published in the department.

By command of

Major-General Butler.
Official. R. S. Davis, Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.

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