the Governor of this State be, and he is hereby, authorized to press into the service of the State, for the purpose of constructing fortifications and other works for the public defenses, not exceeding at any one time one-half of all the able-bodied male slaves from eighteen to fifty years of age, belonging to any one person or persons, or under the charge of any person or persons, within the State of Louisiana, together with such utensils and other movables deemed necessary to work such slaves pro rata; and the slaves so pressed shall be valued by sworn appraisers, to be named, one by the officer charged to make the press and another by the owner or persons having charge of such slaves; and in case of disagreement the two appraisers to choose an umpire; and in case of neglect or refusal of the owner or person having charge of such slaves, then and in that case both appraisers are to be named by the officers and the utensils and movables are to be appraised in like manner. And it is hereby made the duty of the several sheriffs in the State to furnish a list of the owners and number of slaves or in possession of each within their respective jurisdictions, and that the Governor shall delegate the same authority to the military officer (State or Confederate) commanding the department where the fortifications or other works are to be erected either to protect or redeem any portion of the State.
SEC. 2. Be if further enacted, &c., That in case of the loss of any such slave or slaves by reason of being so pressed into the service of the State, then and in that case the owner or owners shall be entitled to demand and receive the value of such slave or slaves, payable in State treasury notes, and the owner or owners of such slaves shall be entitled to demand and receive wages for such at the rate of $1 per day for each and every day actually employed on the works and in going and returning, to be paid in the treasury notes of the State or Confederate States, and the utensils and other property pressed shall be paid in like manner or returned in kind.
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Approved January 1, 1863.
ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE, No. 1.
Richmond, Va., January 2, 1863.
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XXII. The following-named officers are assigned to duty with Brigadier Gen. Gabriel J. Rains, general superintendent of conscription service in this city, and will report accordingly: Lieut. Colonel George W. Lay, assistant adjutant-general, Provisional Army, C. S. ; Lieut. Colonel A. C. Jones, Forty-fourth Virginia Volunteers.
By command of the Secretary of War:
CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT,
Richmond, January 3, 1863.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
President of the Confederate States of America:
SIR: I have the honor to submit to you the following report of the action and condition of this Department:
After the toils, privations, and many battles of the past year, it is gratifying to be able to present the Army as fully equal, if not supe