loyal citizens of the United States, you will not recognize any legality in any act done under secession auspices. Any executive, legislative, or judicial officers under the reign of the so-called Confederacy are positions unknown to the laws governing loyal citizens of the United States, and not a shadow of authority lies in the hands of governors, legislators, judges, or any other civil officers who obtained and accepted it in defiance of the Constitution of our Republic. General Orders, Numbers 52, current series, District of West Florida, issued in strict accordance with instructions from headquarters Army and Division of West Mississippi, defines the basis for proper movements toward reconstruction, and you will guard at present against any transgression of that order:
Private meeting of citizens, having for their avowed and real object the return of the rebellious States to the Union, are permitted, but all meetings within insurrectionary States for legislative purpose are forbidden, and all parties attempting to assemble for such purposes will be arrested and imprisoned, pending the action of the General Government.
9. Relative to the colored people you will be governed by General Orders, Numbers 54, current series, District of West Florida, republishing General Field Orders, Numbers 28, current series, headquarters Army and Division of West Mississippi:
All persons formerly held as slaves will be treated in every respect as entitled to the rights of freedmen, and such as desire their services will be required to pay for them. Care will be taken not to disturb abruptly the connections now existing, and all colored persons having places or employment are advised to remain whenever the persons by whom they are employed recognize their rights and agree to compensate them for their services. At present the military will have to preserve order and reconcile differences between freedmen and their former masters. Freedmen will have to work for their support, but may select their own employers. Persons forcibly retaining or ill treating their former slaves will subject themselves to arrest ant trial by military commission.
10. Relative to commercial intercourse, you will be governed by the Treasury regulation, approved by the President of the United States May 9, 1865. All commercial transactions under those regulations will be conducted under the supervision of officers of the customs and acting as officers of the customs. As, however, no Treasury officer has yet arrived at this post, relative to cotton you will be governed by section 7, General Field Orders, Numbers 30, current series, headquarters Army and Division of West Mississippi, and you will give safe conduct, and if required, protection to such of the country people as may be able to bring or send their cotton to Apalachicola, detaining all such private cotton here pending the action of the proper Treasury agent. You will see that all such cotton is properly recorded by the responsible officer placed in charge of it in addition to the cotton received from Actg. Ensign G. E. Wingate, U. S. Navy, who has detained and stored such cotton here previous to your assuming command.
11. Mr. F. C. A. Dexter, special agent of the Treasury Department for the Ninth Treasury District, comprising all of the State of Florida west of the Chattahoochee River, and so much of the State of Alabama as lies south of the Alabama and Mississippi Rivers, having been charged with collecting and forwarding all C. S. cotton and other captured property within the prescribed limits, you are instructed to furnish him and any person or persons authorized to act for him, with every necessary facility in the performance of his duties.
12. Relative to rebel deserters, see General Orders, Numbers 30, Military Division of West Mississippi. At the present juncture, when all the rebel armies have surrendered, you will advise then to take the amnesty oath and to return to their homes to resume their former peaceful pursuit.