War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0019 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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Washington, May 12, 1865.


I. By direction of the President, Major General O. O. Howard is assigned to duty in the War Department as Commissioner of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, under the act of Congress entitled "An act to establish a bureau for the relief of freedmen and refugees," to perform the duties an exercise all the rights, authority, and jurisdiction vested by the act of Congress in such commissioner. General Howard will enter at once upon the duties of Commissioner specified in said act.

II. The Quartermaster-General will without delay assign and furnish suitable quarters and apartments for the said Bureau.

III. The Adjutant-General will assign to the said Bureau the number of competent clerks authorized by the act of Congress.

By order of the President of the United States:


Assistant Adjutant-General.

Act referred to in General Orders, Numbers 91 (A. G. O.), 1865.

AN ACT to establish a bureau for the relief of freedmen and refugees.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there is hereby established in the War Department, to continue during the present war of rebellion, and for one year thereafter, a Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, to which shall be committed, as hereinafter provided, the supervision and management of all abandoned lands, and the control of all subjects relating to refugees and freedmen from rebel States, or from any district of country within the territory embraced in the operations of the Army, under such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by the head of the Bureau and approved by the President. The said Bureau shall be under the management and control of a commissioner to be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, whose compensation shall be three thousand dollars per annum, and such number of clerks as may be assigned to him by the Secretary of War, not exceeding one chief clerk, two of the fourth class, two of the third class, and five of the first class. And the Commissioner, and all persons appointed under this act, shall, before entering upon their duties, take the oath of office prescribed in an act entitled "An act to prescribe an oath of office, and for other purposes," approved July second, eighteen hundred and sixty-two; and the Commissioner and chief clerk shall, before entering upon their duties, give bonds to the Treasurer of the United States, the former in the sum of fifty thousand dollars, and the latter in the sum of ten thousand dollars, conditioned for the faithful discharge of their duties, respectively, with securities to be approved as sufficient by the Attorney-General, which bonds shall be filed in the office of the First Comptroller of the Treasury, to be by him put in suit for the benefit of any injured party upon any breach of the conditions thereof.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That the Secretary of War may direct such issues of provisions, clothing, and fuel as he may deem