ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE, No. 39.
Richmond, March 24, 1864.
The following act of Congress is published for the information of those interested:
AN ACT to authorize the impressment of meat for the use of the Army, under certain circumstances.
The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That whenever the President shall declare that the public exigencies render it necessary, impressments of meat for the use of the Army, may be made from any supplies that may exist in the country, under the express, condition that just compensation shall be afforded to the owner of the meat taken or impressed, and subject to the following restrictions and limitations:
SEC. 2. The power to direct such impressments shall be conferred upon the Secretary of War; but he shall not reduce the supplies of any person below one-half of the quantity usually allowed for the support of himself, his family, and dependents for the year. He shall exercise the said power by orders directed to the officers or agents he may employ, who shall have explicit instructions as to the mode of its execution, and injunctions that the same shall not be abused.
SEC. 3. That these orders shall direct that a notice shall be given to the owner of the meat needed, his bailee or other agent, declaring the quantity required, the price offered, the existence of a necessity, and whether possession is to be taken of the same immediately, and with whom the risk of the safe-keeping is to be, pending the negotiation, and in what manner the compensation shall be settled, in case the offer is not accepted - service of which notice shall be a condition precedent to any impressment or seizure by the impressing officer.
SEC. 4. That upon the service of this notice upon the owner of any meat liable to impressment, the owner shall hold the same subject to the claim of the Confederate States, and shall be entitled to just compensation, according to the provisions of this act; and if the necessity is declared by the impressing officer to be urgent, he shall deliver the possession to the impressing officer upon his demand, who shall give receipt therefor, as provided in the sixth section of this act.
SEC. 5. That for the ascertainment of the quantity of meat liable to impressment under this act, and also of just compensation for the same, where the owner and the impressing officer cannot agree, the impressing officer shall appoint one loyal and disinterested citizen of the county, district or parish, in which the meat impressed shall be at the time of impressment and the owner of the meat so impressed, his agent, or other bailee, shall appoint another, who shall, upon oath, ascertain the quantity liable to impressment, and the value of the same at the date of the notice served upon the party, which oath may be administered by the impressing officer, and which ascertainment of the quantity and value shall be conclusive evidence, thereof; and if the assessors cannot agree, they may associate with them a third person, of like qualifications, to make said assessments.
SEC. 6. That whenever an impressment shall be made, under this act, it shall be the duty of the impressing officer to give an official, showing the quantity taken, the company, battalion regiment or other command, for whose use it is required the compensation to be paid, the circumstances of necessity that existed, which certificate shall be evidence of a claim against the Confederate States, and shall be promptly paid by the disbursing officer of the command for which the meat was taken, or by the chief of the bureau having charge ofor similar objects.
Approved February 17, 1864.
I. The necessity for the impressment of meat under the above act having arisen, in the opinion of the President, these regulations for the exercise of the power of impressment are made, under the authority of the preceding act of Congress, by the Secretary of War.
II. The power to make the impressment under this act is conferred upon the commanding generals of departments, and of armies in the field to be exercised by officers specially designated by them for that such officers of his Bureau as he may select.
III. When any impressment of meat is required, the impressing officer will require a statement of the supplies on hand, the number of persons to be provided for, the length of time for which the provision