HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Nashville, Tenn., February 25, 1864
I. Planters who have taken or may hereafter take the amnesty oath prescribed by the President of the United States, who are desirous of resuming the cultivation of their plantations, will be protected in doing so throughout this military division, and will be allowed to employ colored laborers in compliance with the rules and regulations established by the supervising special agent of the Treasury Department.
Negroes in the employ of Government and those hired by citizens, whether by order of the Treasury Department or otherwise, are exempted from conscription, and the registry of the names of those employed by the Government with the proper officer, and the concentracts for hire with the citizens, will be sufficient evidence of such exemption and will be so regarded by all persons.
II. The State of Kentucky is hereby exempted from the operations of General Orders, Numbers 4., of date November 5, 1863, from these headquarters*.
By order of Major General U. S. Grant:
T. S. BOWERS,
HDQRS. FOURTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Near Buzzard Roost Gap, February 25, 1864.
The reconnaissance upon which the troops started having been completed and the enemy being found in force, the troops will be retired to-night to concentrate at or near Catoosa Platform. General Cruft, commanding First Division, Fourth Army Corps, will have charge of the protection of the left flank.
By command of Major-General Palmer:
D. W. NORTON
Major and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
HDQRS. FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Huntsville, Ala., February 25, 1864.
I. Persons living north of the Tennessee River will be permitted to raise crops the ensuing season, and officers and soldiers of this command will not interfere in any manner with the labors of the people to that end. They should, on the contrary, give every encouragement to the raising of produce for the people of the country to subsist upon, which will relieve the Government from the necessity of feeding them.
II. Negroes who are employed on plantations by citizens must not be interfered with but allowed to remain, the people having a right to employ them by paying them fair wages.
This order will be read at the head of every regiment and detachment of this command, and must be strictly regarded.
By command of Major General John A. Logan:
R. R. TOWNES.
*See Vol. XXXI, Part III, p. 58.