ORDERS,] HEADQUARTERS U. S. FORCES,
Macon, Ga., July 5, 1865.
Until other orders are issued by the Freedman's Bureau the following rules will be in force and are published for the guidance of the freedmen and their former masters:
1. The common law governing domestic relations, giving parents authority and control over their children and guardians control over their wards, is in force. The authority and obligations of parents and guardians take the place of those of the former master.
2. The former masters are constituted the guardians of minors and of the aged and infirm, in the absence of parents or other near relations capable of supporting them.
3. Young men and women under twenty-one years of age will remain under the control of their parents or guardians until they become of age, thus aiding to support their parents and younger brothers and sisters.
4. The former masters of freedmen must not turn away the young and infirm, nor refuse to give them food and shelter. Nor shall the ablebodied men and women go away from their homes or live in idleness and leave their parents or children or younger brothers or sisters to be supported by others.
5. The former masters of freedmen will not be permitted to turn away or drive from their plantations faithful hands who have helped to make the crops, when the crops are saved, without paying for the labor already performed.
6. Freedmen like all other men are amenable to civil and criminal law, and are liable to be punished for violations of law just the same as white citizens, but in no cases will brutality be allowed on the part of the former master. Thinking men will at once see that, with the end of slavery, all enactments and customs which were necessary for its preservation must cease to have effect.
7. Persons of age who are free from any of the obligations referred to above are at liberty to find new homes whenever they can obtain proper employment, but they will not be supported by the Government or by their homer masters in idleness and vagrancy.
8. It will be left to the employer and servant to agree upon the wages to be paid, and any just arrangement or contract will not be interfered with; but freedmen are advised that for the present they ought to expect only moderate wages, and when their employers cannot pay them money they ought to be contented with a fair share in the crops to be raised. This rule is subject to such modifications as the Freedmen's Bureau may require.
9. All officers, soldiers, and citizens are requested to give publicity to these rules and to instruct the freed people as to their new rights and obligations.
10. All sub-district and post commanders are authorized and required to correct any violation of the above rules within their jurisdiction. All offenses hereunder may be tried by a military commission or provost court.
By command of Major-General Wilson:
EDWARD P. INHOFF,
Captain and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.