as the Commissary-General of Subsistence may direct, and for the exclusion of any interest in them on the part of members of Congress, officers, or agents of the Government, and all persons employed in the public service.
158. A contract for rations shall be executed in quintuplicate; one copy to be kept by the contractor and one by the provost- marshal; two copies to be sent to the Commissary-General of Subsistence, through the acting assistant provost-marshal-general of the State or division, for approval; the remaining copy to the "Returns Office," Washington, D. C. The oath of allegiance to the United States must be taken by the contractor and forwarded with the copies of the contract to be furnished the Commissary-General of Subsistence, which copies, together with that for the Returns Office, will be sent by the provost-marshal, immediately after completion, accompanied by the advertisement and one copy of every bid received.
159. Each copy of every contract for furnishing subsistence is subject to a stamp duty of 5 cents for every sheet or piece of paper upon which the agreement is written. The stamp must be provided, affixed, and canceled by the contractor. The stamp is canceled by the contractor writing on its face his initials and the date.
160. The provost-marshal us certify upon each copy of a contract for subsistence that it was impracticable to obtain rations from the Commissary Department, U. S. Army, or to subsist his men at any of the places of accommodation provided for soldiers by the Government or by the public, stating briefly the causes of the impracticability.
161. When bids to furnish subsistence are solicited, the advertisement or notice shall call for sealed proposals in duplicate. If the bids received be deemed unreasonable, or if there be other sufficient cause for not accepting them, they will be rejected and others again invited. The time and place of opening proposals shall be stated in the advertisement, and bidders allowed to be present at the opening.
162. Subsistence will be obtained from contractors on ration returns (Form 25), which must be made by the provost-marshal for a few days at a time, and for each of the following description of persons separately, viz:
Class I (persons in military service): Drafted men and substitutes, deserters, guards, prisoners, recruits (enlisted or mustered by provost-marshals).
Class II (persons not in military service): Prisoners (citizens), guards (citizens).
The name and rank of each person to be subsisted and the company, regiment, or other organization to which he belongs, must be stated on the ration return. At the end of the calendar month the provost-marshal shall enter each ration return on an abstract and account (Form 26), specifying thereon, in column of "Remarks," the description of persons (see classes I and II) for whom the return was made.
163. Separate abstracts and accounts, in duplicate, shall be prepared for persons in military service and for persons not in military service. These abstracts and accounts, when certified to by the provost-marshal, shall be forwarded by him, with the original ration returns, to the acting assistant provost-marshal- general of the State or division for his examination and approval, who, after certifying on each abstract and account that he has compared it with the original ration returns, finds it correct, and approved the account, shall transmit for
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