Williamsburg, Va., September 7, 1861.
The undersigned having received full authority from the Secretary of War to press into service all the slaves of the country, if necessary, he prefers to rely upon the patriotism of his fellow-citizens for the needful supply of labor, and therefore calls upon the inhabitants of the counties of ----, ----, ----- to send one-half of their male slaves to work on the fortifications for the protection of their families and property. They will send with their slaves the necessary implements of labor--spades, shovels, picks, grubbing-hoes, and axes. The negroes will be allowed 50 cents a day and plenty of provisions; the money to be paid by the quartermaster to their masters. All free negroes who are capable of labor will also be employed and paid at the same rate. The bearer of this is hereby authorized by the undersigned to give receipts for the negroes, and from that time the Confederate Government will be responsible for them. These negroes will be sent to the nearest wharves, to be conveyed to Williamsburg.
J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,
SOURCE: United States War Department. THE WAR OF THE REBELLION: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1880-1901.