United States troops is most largely occupied by persons disloyal to the United States and whose property has become liable to confiscation under the acts of Congress and the proclamation of the President, and that sales and transfers of said property are being made for the purpose of depriving the Government of the same, has determined, in order to secure the rights of all persons as well as those of the Government, and for the purpose of enabling the crops now growing to be taken care of and secured and the unemployed laborers to be set at work and provision made for payment of their labor, to order as follows:
I. That all the property within the district to be known as the District of La Fourche be, and hereby is, sequestered, and all sales and transfers thereof are forbidden and will be held invalid.
II. The District of La Fourche will comprise all the territory in the State of Louisiana lying west of the Mississippi River except the parishes of Plaquemines and Jefferson.
III. That Major Joseph M. Bell, provost judge, president; Lieutenant Col. J. B. Kinsman, aide-de-camp; Captain Fuller (Seventy-fifth New York Volunteers), provost-marshal of the district, be a commission to take possession of the property in said district, to make an accurate inventory of the same, and gather up and collect all such personal property, and turn over to the proper officers upon their receipts such of said property as may be required for the use of the United States Army; to collect together all the other personal property and bring the same to New Orleans and cause it to be sold at public auction to the highest bidders, and after deducting the necessary expenses of care, collection, and transportation to hold the proceeds thereof subject to the just claims of loyal citizens and those neutral foreigners who in good faith shall appear to be the owners of the same.
IV. Every loyal citizen or neutral foreigner who shall be found in actual possession and ownership of any property in said district, not having acquired the same by any title since the 18th of September last, my have his property returned or delivered to him without sale upon establishing his condition to the judgment of the commission.
V. All sales made by any person not a loyal citizen or a foreign neutral since the 18th day of September shall be held void; and all sales whatever made with the intent to deprive the Government of its rights of confiscation will be held void at what time soever made.
VI. The commission is authorized to employ in working the plantation of any person who has remained quietly at his home, whether he be loyal or disloyal, the negroes who may be found in said district, or who have or may hereafter claim the protection of the United States upon the terms set forth in a memorandum of a contract heretofore offered to the planters of the parishes of Plaquemines and Saint Bernard or white labor may be employed, at the election of the commission.
VII. The commissioners will cause to be purchased such supplies as may be necessary, and convey them to such convenient depots as to supply the planters during the making of the crop, which supplies will be charged the crop manufactured and shall constitute a lien thereon.
VIII. The commissioners are authorized to work for the account of the United States such plantations as are deserted by their owners or are held by disloyal owners, as may seem to them expedient for the purpose of saving the crops.
IX. Any persons who have not been actually in arms against the United States since the occupation of New Orleans by its forces and who shall remain peaceably upon their plantations, affording no aid or
38 R R-VOL XV