Without attempting, therefore, to regulate all the various interests arising out of this question, and which pertain properly to the Freedmen's Bureau, the major-general commanding deems it his duty to make such rules as in his opinion will best prevent suffering and restore quiet at the present time. It is therefore ordered: That all persons heretofore held as slaves remain for the present with their former masters and by their labor secure the crops of the present season. The only place where they can obtain a living for themselves and their families in the field, where they have been accustomed to work. If found wandering about the country or gathering at military posts they will be arrested and punished, and all transports and private steam-boats running on Red River are prohibited from carrying this class of people, except upon a military pass, which will be given only in exceptional cases. If necessary for them to leave home, or visit any of the military posts, they will be furnished with a pass by their employer to prevent their arrest as vagrants. But, while it is found necessary during the present unsettled state of the country to make these orders relative to the blacks, the planters are reminded that the matter depends largely on them, and that only by fair treatment of the hands can they hope to mature and harvest their crops and carry on their plantations. Definite contracts must be made with the negroes, which will be binding for the balance of the present season. Planters who endeavor to do this in good faith will be assisted in all proper ways and will do much toward restoring quiet and confidence.
By command of Major-General Herron:
WM. H. CLAPP,
Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI,
Jackson, Miss., June 11, 1865.
Brigadier General M. L. SMITH,
Commanding District of Vicksburg:
GENERAL: The major-general commanding directs me to inform You that he has concluded arrangements for rebuilding the Southern Railroad from New Orleans Junction to Big Black, and that as this line will be within the limits of Your sub-district he will expect You to interest yourself in the undertaking, rendering such aids and facilities as may be required from time to time, and giving direction and control where You find it necessary in the progress of the work. The general further directs that You will at once place working parties on the road to report to and be under the direction of Major Mann, engineer, in the following numbers, and between these points: Between Big Black and Edwards Depot, 200 men; between Edwards Depot and Bolton Station, 200 men; at Clinton, 100 men. These parties must be armed, equipped, and provided with at least ten days' rations. Spikes have been ordered, and You are directed to put at work cutting ties all men of the above details that You can provide with axes. The general will make application to the War Department to have the men detailed upon the duty of rebuilding the railroad paid 40 per cents per day extra while so engaged.
I am, general, very respectfully, Your obedient servant,
J. WARREN MILLER,