War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 1144 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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any such claim against the Government shall be valid, and no payment shall be made of any such claim except in hand to the person actually earning it-if he is within this department-or to his legal representative, if the person earning it be deceased.

XIII. Religious, benevolent, and humane persons have come into this department for the charitable purpose of giving to the negroes secular and religious instructions and this, too, without any adequate pay or material reward. It is therefore ordered, That every officer and soldier shall treat all such persons with the utmost respect; shall aid them by all proper means in their laudable avocations; and that transportation be furnished them whenever it may be necessary in pursuit of their business.

XIV. As it is necessary to preserve uniformity of system, and that information shall be had as to the needs and the supplies for the negro; and as certain, authorizations are had to raise troops in the department, a practice has grown up of corresponding directly with the War and other Departments of the Government, to the manifest injury of the service; It is therefore ordered, That all correspondence in relation to the raising or recruitment of colored troops, and relating to the care and control of the negroes in this department, with any official organized body or society, or any Department or Bureau of the Government, must be transmitted through these headquarters, as by regulation all other military correspondence is required to be done.

XV. Courts-martial and courts of inquiry in relation to all offenses committed by or against any of the colored troops, or any person in the service of the United States connected with the care, or serving with the colored troops, shall have a majority of its members composed of officers in command of colored troops, when such can be detailed without manifest injury to the service.

All offenses by citizens against the negroes, or by the negroes against citizens-except of a high and aggravated nature-shall be heard and tried before the provost court.

XVI. This order shall be published and furnished to each regiment and detached post within the department-a copy for every commanding officer thereof-and every commander of a company, or detachment less than a company, shall cause the same to be read once, at least, to his company or detachment; and this order shall be printed for the information of the citizens, once at least, in each newspaper published in the department.

By command of Major-General Butler:

R. S. DAVIS,

Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.

MESSAGE.

DECEMBER 8, 1863.

Fellow-citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives:

Another year of health, and of sufficiently abundant harvests, has passed. For these, and especially for the improved condition of our national affairs, our renewed, and profoundest gratitude to God is due.

We remain in peace and friendship, with foreign powers.

The efforts of disloyal citizens of the United States to involve us in foreign wars, to aid an inexcusable insurrection, have been unavailing. Her Britannic Majesty's Government, as was justly expected,