We have partially distracted the State so as to meet, to some extent, the actual cost of production. So strangely diversified is our country that it is a very difficult matter to sectionize it for prices so as to do entire justice. And even if we should vary prices of all articles according to cost of production, we do not know that full satisfaction would be given; for, strange as it may seem, property is, in many instances, highest in those portions producing it most abundantly. It has been suggested to us that we should so graduate our scale as to meet the prices current in different sections, without reference to cost of production. To do so would be to reward those who ask most for their property and who would most depreciate the currency.
The prices established are to be paid for articles of subsistence in the county of their growth or manufacture, if in this State, and if impressed or purchased out of such county, then transportation within the State is to be paid, as established above, in addition to such prices. In case of sugar and molasses manufactured in Louisiana, the rates herein set forth are to be allowed at the line between that State and this. In addition thereto, transportation is to be counted from the place of purchase or impressment in this State, along the direct and usually traveled road, back to the nearest point on the Louisiana line. By delivering at mill or post, we mean for the farmer to take his substance to some mill or post reasonably near him, to be selected by the officer, for the collection of Government stores.
In assessing the average of first-class artillery horses at $ 450, we meant for the terms to be used in their common-sense import, and in contradistinction to a fixed and uniform price for each. We supposed that in impressing a lot of horses, whether owned by several persons or one, that some might be estimated at $ 300 or less, and others at different advanced rates, according to their worth, up as high as $ 500, or above that - thus making an average value or price for a number of good, sound, and efficient horses, $ 450. And as comparatively few horses come exactly up to the standard, and are therefore entitled to the maximum, so others must fall below it, according to deficiencies.
So of cavalry horses and mules. If all classes of any species of property have not been scheduled, our prices can be taken as a standard, and the matter settled according to section 6 of the law and the amended act of April 27, 1863.
For reasons satisfactory to ourselves, some articles are not placed in this schedule, though included in former ones; such articles agents will purchase on the best terms possible, and if not satisfied with the price asked by the holder, they can impress and refer to us for a final valuation under the law.
We deem it our duty to say that the foregoing are the prices at which, alone, Government agents can, without violation of law, in the cases provided for by it, impress private property; and for the information and safety of all, we copy from the impressment law the eleventh section and the following orders from the War Department:
SECTION 11. That any commissioned or non-commissioned officer or private who shall violate the provisions of this act shall be tried before the military court of the corps to which he is attached, on complaint made by the owner or other person; and on conviction, if an officer, he shall be cashiered and put into the ranks as a private, and if a non-commissioned officer or private, he shall suffer such punishment not inconsistent with military law, as the court may direct.
ORDER 1. That no officer of the Government shall, under any circumstances whatever, impress the supplies which a party has for his own consumption or that