War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 0621 UNION AUTHORITIES.

Search Civil War Official Records

of the law without unnecessary collision. Every deserter from the late draft should, if possible, be arrested before the September draft commences. Report to me the arrival of troops and the disposition you make of them.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,





Hilton Head, S. C., August 16, 1864.

In view of the necessities of the military service, the want of recruits to complete the unfilled regiments in this department, the greater numbers of unemployed colored men and deserters hiding about to avoid labor or service, and in consideration of the large bounties now paid to volunteers by the Government, General Orders, Numbers 17, dated headquarters Department of the South, Hilton Head, S. C., March 6, 1863,* is hereby amended to read as follows:

I. All able-bodied colored men between the ages of eighteen and fifty, within the military lines of the Department of the South, who have had an opportunity to enlist voluntarily and refused to do so, shall be drafted into the military service of the United States, to serve as non-commissioned officers and soldiers in the various regiments and batteries now being organized in the department.

II. Whenever any laborer shall be taken from any of the departments of the army their places shall be filled from those who are exempted by the surgeons as unfit for military duty by the superintendent of volunteer recruiting.

III. Deserters from regiments organized in this department who shall give themselves up on or before the 10th day of September, 1864, shall receive full pardon and be restored to duty.

IV. The owners or superintendents of plantations, and all other persons throughout the department not in the military service, are hereby authorized and required to arrest and deliver to the local provost-marshal of the nearest military post al deserters in their employ or loitering about their plantations, and if it be necessary for a guard to make the arrest, it shall be the duty of such person or persons knowing of the whereabouts of any deserter, or person by common reports called a deserter, to report the fact to the nearest military commander, and also to render him all assistance in his power to cause the arrest. Any person found guilty of violating this section shall be severely punished.

V. District provost-marshals are hereby directed to cause the arrest of all idle persons, and all persons within the military lines of their respective districts, either white to black, who have not proper and visible means to support, and to turn them over immediately to the general superintendent of volunteer recruiting service or his agents for conscription.

The Provost-Marshal-General and general superintendent of volunteer recruiting are charged with a strict enforcement of this order.

by command of Major General J. G. Foster:


Assistant Adjutant-General.


*See Series I, Vol. XIV, p. 1020.