To relieve the Government of a burden that may hereafter become insupportable, and to enable the blacks to support and govern themselves in the absence and abandonment of their disloyal guardians, a suitable system of culture and instruction must be combined with one providing for their physical wants. Therefore, until proper legislation on the subject or until orders from higher authority, the country in occupation of the forces of this command will be divided off into districts of convenient size for proper superintendence. For each of these districts a suitable agent will be appointed, to superintend the management of the plantations by the blacks; to enroll and organize the willing blacks into working parties; to see that they are well fed; clad, and paid a proper remuneration for their labor; to take charge of all property on the plantation, whether found there; provided by the Government, or raised from the soil, and to perform all other administrative duties connected with the plantations that may be required by the Government.
A code of regulations on this subject, as well as a proper division of districts will be furnished in due time. In the mean while, and until the blanks become capable themselves of thinking and acting judiciously, the service of competent instructors will be received, one or more for each district; whose duties will consist in teaching them, both young and old, the rudiments of civilization and Christianity, their amenability to the laws of both God and man, their relations to each other as social beings, and all that is necessary to render them competent to sustain themselves in social and business pursuits.
For an efficient and complete organization of this system there will be appointed two general agents, one to have a general superintendence over the administrative or agricultural agents and the other over the educational department.
II. The above system is not intended in any respect to interfere with the existing orders respecting the employment of contrabands by the staff department of the Army and by the cotton agents.
III. As the blacks are now in great need of suitable clothing, if not other necessaries of life, which necessity will probably continue and even increase until the above system gets into working order, the benevolent and philanthropic of the land are most earnestly appealed to for assistance in relieving their immediate wants.
Never was there a nobler or more fitting opportunity for the operation of that considerate and practical benevolence for which the Northern people have even been distinguished.
By order of Brigadier General T. W. Sherman:
L. H. PELOUZE,
Captain, Fifteenth Infantry, Actg. Asst . Adjt. General.
HEADQUARTERS THIRD BRIGADE, EXPEDY'S CORPS,
Steamer Empire City, Warsaw Sound, Ga., February 10, 1862.
General THOMAS W. SHERMAN:
GENERAL: I send the steamer Marion to Hilton Head to-day to procure certain articles of property, officers' supplies, &c., left behind, which have become essential to the health and comfort of the command, with orders to the captain to return as soon as the objects of the trip are attained, or sooner if the remainder of the expedition should be sooner ready.