promptly, and by suitable drill and instruction, prepare them for their duty as soldiers, to protect their homes and maintain the Government of their choice. Until the present rebellion I was of those who hoped there would be war no more and that making had become wise enough under our Government to live at peace. But when I saw the slave-holders of the South and the corrupt politicians of the North plotting together to overthrow the Government of the United States and establish for themselves perpetual dominion, North and South, my mistake was revealed, and the full force of the maxim that "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty" came home to me. I am now in favor of arming every freeman. But arms without organization are of little account. I am therefore in favor of organizing freemen as soldiers, and when this is done rebels and traitors will not be apt to repeat their crimes. The militia of every State should be organized and trained and instructed in the use of arms if they wish to live in peace.
EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
GENERAL ORDERS, WAR DEPT., ADJT. GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 257.
Washington, September 15, 1864.
The following act of Congress is published for the information and government of all concerned:
AN ACT in addition to the several acts concerning commercial intercourse between loyal and insurrectionary States, and to provide for the collection of captured and abandoned property, and the prevention of frauds in States declared in insurrection.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in congress assembled, That sales of captured and abandoned property, under the act approved March twelve, eighteen hundred and sixty-three, may be made at such places in States declared in insurrection as may be designated by the Secretary of the Treasury, as well as at other places now authorized by said act.
SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That, in addition to the captured and abandoned property o be received, collected, and disposed of, as provided in said act, the said agents shall take charge of and lease, for periods not exceeding twelve months, the abandoned lands, houses, and tenements, within the districts therein named, and shall also provide, in such leases or otherwise, for the employment and general welfare of all persons within the lines of national military occupation within said insurrectionary States formerly held as slaves,w ho are or shall become free. Property, real or personal, shall be regarded as abandoned when the lawful owner thereof shall be voluntarily absent therefrom, and engaged, either in arms or otherwise, in aiding or encouraging the rebellion.
SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That all moneys arising from the leasing of abandoned lands, houses, and tenements, or from sales of captured and abandoned property collected and sold in pursuance of said act or of this act, or from fees collected under the rules and regulations made by the Secretary of the Treasury and approved by the President, dated respectively the twenty-eighth day of August, eighteen hundred and sixty-two, the thirty-first day of March, and the eleventh day of September, eighteen hundred and sixty-three, or under any amendments or modifications thereof, which have been or shall be made by the Secretary of the Treasury, and approved by the President, for conducting the commercial intercourse which has been or shall be licensed and permitted by the President, with and in States declared in insurrection, shall, after satisfying therefrom all proper and necessary expenses to be approved by the Secretary of the Treasury, be paid into the Treasury of the United States; and all accounts of moneys received or expended in connection therewith shall be audited by the
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