my disinclination to give official sanction to any of them. This is a full statement of my official action upon this subject.
I have the honor to be, with much respect, your obedient servant,
N. P. BANKS,
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF, Numbers 64.
New Orleans, August 29, 1863.
I. Colonel John S. Clark, Major B. Rush Pumply, and Colonel George H. Hanks, are hereby appointed a commission to regulate the enrolment, recruiting, employment, and education of persons of color. All questions concerning the enlistment of troops for the Corps d'Afrique, the regulation of labor, or the government and education of negroes, will be referred to the decision of this commission, subject to the approval of the commanding general of the department.
II. No enlistments for the Corps d'Afrigue will be authorized or permitted, except under regulations approved by this commission.
III. The provost-marshal general will cause to be enrolled all ablebodied men of color, in accordance with the law of conscription, and such number as may be required for the military service, under such regulations as the commission may adopt. Certificates of exemption will be furnished to those not enlisted, protecting them from arrest or other interference, excepting for crime.
IV. Soldiers of the Corps d'Afrique will be allowed to leave their camps, or to wander through the parishes, excepting upon written permission, or in the company of their officers.
V. Unemployed persons of color, vagrants, and camp loafers will be arrested and employed upon the public works by the provost-marshal's department, without other pay then their rations and clothing.
VI. Arrests of persons and seizures of property will not be made by colored soldiers, nor will they be charged with the custody of persons or property, excepting when under the command and accompanied by duly authorized officers.
VII. Any injury or wrong doing to the family of any soldier on account of his being engaged in military service will be summarily punished.
VIII. As far as practicable, the labor of persons not adapted to military service will be provided in substitution for that of enlisted men.
IX. All regulations hitherto established for the government of negroes, not inconsistent herewith, will be enforced by the provost-marshals of the different parishes, under the direction of the provost-marshal-general.
By command of Major-General Banks:
RICH'D B. IRWIN,
August 30, 1863.
SIR: Rumors are in circulation that the Federal officers at Port Hudson have declared their purpose to make a general divesting raid through this part of the country. I do not know whether such rumors are well founded, but think it quite likely that they are, and that the