comfort to the enemies of the United States and who shall return to their allegiance and who shall by all reasonable methods aid the United States when called upon, may be empowered by the commission to work their own plantations, to make their own crop, and to retain possession of their own property, except such as is necessary for the military uses of the United States. And to all such persons the commission are authorized to furnish means of transportation for their crops and supplies at just and equitable prices.
X. The commissioners are empowered and authorized to hear, determine, and definitely report upon all questions of the loyalty, disloyalty, or neutrality of the various claimants within said district; and, further, to report such persons as in their judgment ought to be recommended by the commanding general to the President for amnesty and pardon, so that they may have their property returned; to the end that all persons that are loyal may suffer as little injury as possible and that all persons who have been heretofore disloyal may have opportunity now to prove their loyalty and to return to their allegiance and save their property from confiscation, if such shall be the determination of the Government of the United States.
By command of Major-General Butler:
GEO. C. STRONG,
Assistant Adjutant-General and Chief of Staff.
Memorandum of an arrangement entered into between the planters, loyal citizens of the United States, in the parishes of Saint Bernard and Plaquemines, in the State of Louisiana, and the civil and military authorities of the United States in said State.
Whereas many of the persons held to service and labor have left their masters and claimants and have come to the city of New Orleans and to the camps of the Army of the Gulf and are claiming to be emancipated and free; and whereas these men and women are in a destitute condition; and whereas it is clearly the duty, by law as well as in humanity, of the United States to provide them with food and clothing and to employ them in some useful occupation; and whereas it is necessary that the crop of came and cereals now growing and approaching maturity in said parishes shall be preserved and the levees repaired and strengthened against floods; and whereas the planters claim that these persons are still held to service and labor and of right ought to labor for their masters, and the ruin of their crops and plantations will happen if deprived of such services; and whereas these conflicting rights and claims cannot immediately be determined by any tribunals now existing in the State of Louisiana:
In order therefore to preserve the rights of all parties, as well those of the planters as of the persons claimed as held to labor and service and claiming their freedom and those of the United States, and to preserve the crops and property of loyal citizens of the United States and to provide profitable employment at the rate of compensation fixed by act of Congress for those persons who have come within the lines of the Army of the United States--
It is agreed and determined that the United States will employ all the persons heretofore held to labor on the several plantations in the parishes of Saint Bernard and Plaquemines belonging to loyal citizens as they have heretofore been employed, and as nearly as may be under the charge of the loyal planters and overseer of said parishes and other necessary directions.