By an act approved March 3, 1863, it is provided as follows: a
That cooks shall be detailed, in turn, from the privates of each company of troops in the service of the United States, at the rate of one cook for each company numbering less than thirty men, and two cooks for each company numbering over thirty men, who shall serve ten days each.
That the President of the United States be, and he is hereby, authorized to cause to be enlisted, for each cook, two under- cooks of African descent, who shall receive for their full compensation ten dollars per month and one ration per day, three dollars of said monthly pay being in clothing.
On the 30th of July, 1863, the President ordered as follows:*
The act of February 24, 1864, a amendatory of the enrollment act, section 24, provided-
That all able-bodied male colored persons between the ages of twenty and forty-five years, resident in the United States, shall be enrolled according to the provisions of this act, and of the act to which this is an amendment, and form part of the national forces; and when a slave of a loyal master shall be drafted and mustered into the service of the United States, his master shall have a certificate thereof, and thereupon such slave shall be free; and the bounty of one hundred dollars, now payable by law for each drafted man, shall be paid to the person to whom such drafted person was owing service or labor at the time of his muster into the service of the United States. The Secretary of War shall appoint a commission in each of the slave States represented in Congress, charged to award each loyal person to whom a colored volunteer may owe service a just compensation, not exceeding three hundred dollars, for each such colored volunteer, payable out of the fund derived from commutations, and every such colored volunteer on being mustered into service shall be free. And in all cases where men of color have been heretofore enlisted, or have volunteered in the military service of the United States, all the provisions of this act, so far as the payment of bounty and compensation are provided, shall be equally applicable as to those who may be hereafter recruited. But men of color, drafted or enlisted, or who may volunteer into the military service, while they shall be credited on the quotas of the several States, or subdivisions of States, wherein they are respectively drafted, enlisted, or shall volunteer, shall not be assigned as State troops, but shall be mustered into regiments or companies as United States colored troops.
It will be observed that the able-bodied male colored persons were thenceforward to form part of the national forces. But it was provided, in the case of a slave being drafted, that the $100 bounty then allowed to drafted men should be paid to his master; and where a slave entered the service as a volunteer, instead of receiving the bounty which was allowed to other recruits, the master was entitled to receive a compensation from the Government, not to exceed $300. It was further provided that men of color drafted or enlisted should "be credited upon the quotas of the several States or subdivisions of States."
A fair construction of this statute authorizes the payment of $100 bounty to free colored men who might be drafted; and in lieu of bounty to the slave it gave him his freedom, while his master, if loyal, received a compensation for the loss of his services.
Up to this time and until the passage of the act entitled "An act making appropriations for the support of the Army for the year ending the thirtieth day of June, eighteen hundred and sixty-five, and for other purposes," approved June 15, 1864, a there was no law providing for the payment of bounty to colored volunteers, either free or slave, and the pay of colored troops still remained at $10 per month, as fixed by the act of July 17, 1862.
The act just cited provides-
That all persons of color who have been or may be mustered into the military service of the United States shall receive the same uniform, clothing, arms, equipments,
a See Appendix, Doc. 35.
* Embodied in General Orders, No. 252, Adjutant-General's Office, July 31, 1863, Series II, Vol. VI, p.163.
42 R R-SERIES III, VOL V