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AfriGeneas Military Research Forum Archive



Washington, October 3, 1863.

Whereas, the exigencies of the war require that colored troops should be recruited in the States of Maryland, Missouri, and Tennessee, it is Ordered, by the President, That the chief of the Bureau for Organizing Colored Troops shall establish recruiting stations at convenient places within said States, and give public notice thereof, and be governed by the following regulations:

1. None but able-bodied persons shall be enlisted.
2. The State and county in which the enlistments are made shall be credited with the recruits enlisted.
3. All persons enlisted into the military service shall forever thereafter be free.
4. Free persons, and slaves with the written consent of their owners, and slaves belonging to those who have been engaged in or given aid and comfort to the rebellion, may be now enlisted, the owners who have not been engaged in or given aid to the rebellion being entitled to receive compensation, as hereafter provided.
5. If within thirty days from the date of opening enlistments, notice thereof and of the recruiting stations being published, a sufficient number of the description of persons aforesaid to meet the exigencies of the service should not be enlisted, then enlistments may be made of slaves without requiring consent of their owners; but they may receive compensation as herein provided for owners offering their slaves for enlistment.
6. Any citizen of said States who shall offer his or her slave for enlistment into the military service shall, if such slave be accepted, receive from the recruiting officer a certificate thereof and become entitled to compensation for the service or labor of said slave, not exceeding the sum of $300, upon filing a valid deed of manumission and of release and making satisfactory proof of the title. And the recruiting officer shall furnish to any claimant a descriptive list of any person enlisted and claimed, under oath, to be his or her slave, and allow any one claiming, under oath, that his or her slave has been enlisted without his or her consent, the privilege of inspecting the enlisted men for the purpose of identification.
7. A board of three persons shall be appointed by the President, to whom the rolls and recruiting lists shall be furnished for public information, and, on demand, exhibited to any person claiming that his or her slave has been enlisted against his or her will.
8. If any person shall, within ten days after the filing of said rolls, make a claim for the service of any person so enlisted the Board shall proceed to examine the proofs of title, and, if shall award valid, just compensation, not exceeding $300, for each slave enlisted belonging to the claimant; and upon the claimant filing a valid deed of manumission and release of service, the Board shall give the claimant a certificate of the sum awarded, which, on presentation, shall be paid by the chief of the bureau.
9. All the enlistments of colored troops in the State of Maryland, otherwise than in accordance with these regulations, are forbidden.
10. No person who is or has been engaged in rebellion against the Government of the United States, or who in any way has given or shall give aid or comfort to the enemies of the Government, shall be permitted to present any claim or receive compensation for the labor or service of any slave, and all claimants shall file with their claim an oath of allegiance to the Government of the United States.

By order of the President:

Assistant Adjutant-General.

SOURCE: United States War Department. THE WAR OF THE REBELLION: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1880-1901.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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