War of the Rebellion: Serial 106 Page 0274 OPERATIONS ON THE PACIFIC COAST. Chapter LXII.

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Mesilla, January 1, 1863.

I. It having been represented to the undersigned by the civil magistrates of that portion of this district waterred by the Rio Grande that a number of occupants of agricultural lands in their several precincts have abandoned them under the apprehension that the Territory will again be invaded by the enemy, and that great prejudice is resulting thereby to permanent residents, who find themselves unable, without the co-operation of their neighbors at the commencement of the panting season, to irrigate their fields, it is therefore ordered that any person or persons may enter upon any lands in this district remaining unoccupied by the owner thereof or his lawful agent, on the 31st day of the present month. The occupation by such owner or lawful agent shall only be of force and effect upon his or their compliance with the status regulating the labor upon acequias.

II. The entry upon such unoccupied lands hereby authorized shall be solely for the purpose of cultivating the same, and this privilege of occupation shall expire on the 31st day of December, 1863, at which time the land shall revert to its lawful owner, together with all the improvements made theron by the temporary occupant.

III. No charge shall be made by the owner of the land for the use and occupation thereof hereby authorized. The temporary occupant shall comply in all respects with the status regulating labor upon acequias and shall have no claim upon the owner of the land for labor or improvements made upon the same.

IV. Persons desiring to avail themselves of the privilege of this order shall file their declaration in writing to that effect with the aclaldes of their respective precincts. The declaration shall described as fully as possible the particular piece of land to be occupied, with the name or names of the owners thereof. If such land shall remain unoccupied according to the stipulations of this order at the expiration of ten days from the day of filing the declaration herein required, the alcalde with whom the same is filed shall authorize the occupation of the land in question by the applicant.

V. The alcaldes shall originally record these declarations in books specially kept for the purpose, and the signature of the applicant shall be affixed therto. For each declaration the alcaldes shall charge and collect the sum of one dollar and the said books shall, during all business hours, be open for public inspection.

VI. de the duty of all alcaldes within the jurisdiction of the undersigned to comly with the duties imposed upon them by this order, and all officers in the U. S. service within this district shall aid and protect persons who shall lavail themselves of its provisions.

VII. The privileges and penalties of thisorder shall also extend to lands vacated by rebels, and which shall remain unoccupied on the 31st day of the present month.

VIII. The people of this valley are assured of the ability of the United States Government to fully protect them. They are advised to return to their homes, to divest themselves of all apprhensions of danger, and to renew peacefully their agricultural labors, with the prospect of a bounteous harvest and a larger market for their products than has ever offered upon the Rio Grande.


Brigadier-General, Commanding.