General Orders No. 63 - Thos Moore
Headquarters Department of the Gulf,
New Orleans, August 22, 1862
Whereas on the 23rd day of April, in the year eighteen hundred and sixty-one, at a public meeting of the free colored population of the city of New Orleans, a military organization, known as the "Native Guards" (colored), had its existence, which military organization was duly and legally enrolled as part of the militia of the State, its officers being commissioned by Thomas O. Moore, Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the militia of the State of Louisiana, in the form following, that is to say:
"The State of Louisiana, (Seal of the State.)
"By Thomas Overton Moore, Governor of the State of Louisiana, and commander-in-chief of the militia thereof.
"In the name and by the authority of the State of Louisiana: Know ye that ____________________, having been duly and legally elected captain of the 'Native Guards' (colored), 1st division of the Militia of Louisiana, to serve for the term of the war.
"I do hereby appoint and commission him captain as aforesaid, to take rank as such, from the 2nd day of May, eighteen hundred and sixty-one.
"He is, therefore, carefully and diligently to discharge the duties of his office by doing and performing all manner of things thereto belonging. And I do strictly charge and require all officers, non-commissioned officers and privates under his command, to be obedient to his orders as captain; and he is to observe and follow such orders and direction, from time to time, as he shall receive from me, or the future Governor of the State of Louisiana, or other superior officers, according to the Rules and Articles of War, and in conformity to law.
"In testimony whereof, I have caused these letters to be made patent, and the seal of the State to be hereunto annexed.
"Given under my hand, at the city of Baton Rouge, on the second day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one.
(Signed) Thos. O. Moore.
"By the Governor:
(Signed) "P.D. Hardy, Secretary of State.
"I, Maurice Grivot, Adjutant and Inspector General of the State of Louisiana, do hereby certify that _________________________, named in the within commission, did, on the second day of May, in the year 1861, deposit in my office his written acceptance of the office to which he is commissioned, and his oath of office taken according to law.
"(Signed) M. Grivot,
"Adjutant and Inspector General, La."
And whereas, said military organization elicited praise and respect, and was complimented in General Orders for its patriotism and loyalty, and was ordered to continue during the war, in the words following:
"Headquarters Louisiana Militia,
"Adjutant General's Office, March 24, 1862.
"(Order No.. 426.)
"1 - The Governor and Commander-in-Chief, relying implicitly upon the loyalty of the free colored population of the city and state for the protection of their homes, their property, and for Southern rights, from the pollution of a ruthless invader, and believing that the military organization which existed prior to the 15th of February, 1862, and elicited praise and respect for and during the war, calls upon them to maintain their organization, and to hold themselves prepared for such orders as may be transmitted to them.
"II - The colonel commanding will report without delay to Major General Lewis, commanding State militia.
"By order of Thos. O. Moore, Governor.
"(Signed) M. Grivot, Adjutant General."
* * * * * * * * *
And whereas, said military organization, by the same order, was directed to report to Major-General Lewis for service, but did not leave the city of New Orleans when he did:
Now, therefore, the Commanding General, believing that a large portion of this militia force of the State of Louisiana are willing to take service in the volunteer forces of the United States, and be enrolled and organized to defend their homes from ruthless invaders; to protect their wives and children and kindred from wrong and outrage; to shield their property from being seized by bad men; and to defend the flag of their native country as their fathers did under Jackson at Chalmette against Pakenham and his myrmidons, carrying the black flag of "beauty and booty".
Appreciating their motives, relying upon their "well-known loyalty and patriotism," and with "praise and respect" for these brave men - it is ordered that all the members of the "Native Guards" aforesaid, and all other free colored citizens recognized by the first and late governor and authorities of the State of Louisiana as a portion of the militia of the State who shall enlist in the volunteer service of the United states, shall be duly organized by the appointment of proper officers, and accepted, paid, equipped, armed, and rationed as are other volunteer troops of the United States, subject to the approval of the President of the United States. All such persons are required to once to report themselves at the Touro Charity Building, Front Levee St., New Orleans, where proper officers will muster them into the service of the United States.
By command of Major-General Butler:
R.S. Davis, Captain and A.A.A.G.