Today in History:

159 Series I Volume XVII-II Serial 25 - Corinth Part II


mistresses cannot be allowed to enter the fort in search of their slaves, because it is improper that any one not belonging to the garrison should enter Fort Pickering or even follow its lines and ditches on the outside. A list of negroes so employed will be kept at headquarters, which may be seen by parties interested.

II. The post quartermaster, Captain Fitch, will in like manner employ a force of about 100 negroes out of those who apply to him for work or he may on occasions take by force when he thinks it absolutely necessary to have an increased for work on the levee, loading and unloading steamboats, coal-boats, and such like labor, a list of whom, similar to that referred in Paragraph I will be kept by the quartermaster and a copy sent to headquarters for reference. These will in like manner be entitled to rations, necessary clothing, and tobacco, but the pay must be reserved until the proper judicial tribunals determine to whom such labor and wages belong.

III. Division quartermasters may employ fugitives to drive teams and attend to horses, mules, and cattle, keeping accurate accounts under the rules of their department applicable to "Persons and articles employed and hired," and subject to the condition of Paragraph I of this order, this list of persons so employed to be sent to headquarters for reference; the number of negroes so hired not to exceed one per team and one to every six span of animals herded or stabled.

IV. The commanders of regiments may cause to be employed as cooks and company teamsters not to exceed 5 per company and 10 per regiment for extra wagons, and 5 for staff wagons; in all, 65 per regiment; which negroes shall be borne on the muster-rolls and supplied with provisions and clothing as soldiers, but in no case will they bear arms or wear the uniform. The quartermaster of the division will supply regimental quartermasters with clothing suitable for such negroes, an account of which will be kept separate and distinct from that of the soldiers. These negroes must be kept to their appropriate duties and place, and the question of wages must remain open and unsettled until the orders of the President are received, or until fixed by subsequent regulations.

V. The commanding general here thinks proper to make known to the people of Memphis the principles by which in the absence of instructions from his superior officers he will be governed in all cases arising under these complicated questions. It is neither his duty nor pleasure to disturb the relation of master and slave;. that is for the courts, which having been destroyed here by our enemy, are inoperative for the present; but in due course of events there must and will be tribunals re-established here that will judge and decide in cases which have already arisen or may arisen under the laws and Constitution of the United States. Then loyal masters will recover their slaves and the wages they have earned during their temporary use by the military authorities; but it is understood that all masters who are in open hostility to the Constitution of their country will lose their slaves, the title to which only exists by force of that very Constitution they seek to destroy.

No influence must be used to entice slaves from their masters, and if fugitives desire to return to their masters they will be permitted to do so; but on the other hand no force or undue persuasion will be permitted to recover such fugitive property.

Officers of the army, from generals to lieutenants, must not employ such fugitives for servants. The Government provides to each officer a distinct pay for his servant, and this is ample for the hire of a free man. Were we to employ such fugitives as servants our motives would