GENERAL ORDERS No
General Orders No. 25.
ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Richmond, March 6, 1863.
I. The following act of Congress and regulations to enforce the same are published for the information of all persons concerned:
CHAP. LXII.--An act to protect the rights of owners of slaves taken by or employed in the Army.
The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That every person connected with the Army or Navy of the Confederate States arresting or coming into possession of any slave by capture from the enemy or otherwise than by lawful authority shall immediately report the same to the commanding officer of the post or brigade or station to which he may be attached. The said commanding officer shall with as little delay as practicable send the slaves so reported to the nearest depot described in the next section, with a register of the place and date of their arrest: Provided, however, That the said slaves or any of them may at once be delivered to their respective owners if claim is made and established on satisfactory evidence.
SEC. 2. The Secretary of War shall establish depots for recaptured slaves at convenient places, not more than five in number, in each State, and all slaves captured in such State shall be kept in such depots. Public notice shall be given of the places so selected.
SEC. 3. Lists of the slaves in each of such depots, showing the name and color of such slaves, the place and time of their arrest, and the names of their owners, as given by themselves or otherwise ascertained, shall be regularly advertised in each State in one or more newspapers of general circulation.
SEC. 4. While such slaves are in depot they may be employed under proper guard on public works; but no slave shall be removed from the depot to which he is first carried for at least one month after the first advertisement of his being there, nor then unless an exact register is made of the removal and due advertisement made in the newspapers as aforesaid.
SEC. 5. Free access shall be permitted to all persons desiring to inspect the said slaves for the purpose of identifying them and establishing ownership, and upon due proof they shall be immediately restored to the persons claiming them.
SEC. 6. It shall further be the duty of the Secretary of War to require the names of all slaves in the employment of an officer or soldier of the Confederate Army or Navy, with the names and residence of their owners, and of the person by whom hired out, and of the officer or soldier hiring, to be reported to his department and a full register thereof to be kept for public inspection.
SEC. 7. The President shall prescribe regulations for carrying this act into effect and provide for the subsistence of said slaves while in such depots.
[Approved October 13, 1862.]
II. Depots for recaptured slaves are hereby established at the following places, viz:
At the Camps of Instruction at Richmond, Petersburg and Dublin Station, in the State of Virginia; Camp of Instruction at Raleigh, in the State of North Carolina; Camp of Instruction at Columbia, in the State of South Carolina; Camps of Instruction at Macon and Decatur, in the State of Georgia; Camps of Instruction at Notasulga and Talladega, in the State of Alabama; Camp of Instruction at Tallahassee, in the State of Florida; Camps of Instruction at Brookhaven and Enterprise, in the State of Mississippi; Camps of Instruction at Monroe, Camp Moore and New Iberia, in the State of Louisiana; Camp of Instruction at Houston, in the State of Texas; Camps of Instruction at Knoxville and McMinnville, in the State of Tennessee; Camp of Instruction at Little Rock, in the State of Arkansas.
III. The commandants of the several camps of instruction will provide necessary quarters for all negroes sent to the depots; will detail sufficient guards for their safe-keeping; provide for their custody, employment and subsistence; require full and accurate registers to be kept, and advertisements as prescribed by the act of Congress to be regularly made, and afford all facilities to claimants to establish their ownership, and on due proof surrender the slaves to their owners.
IV. Commanding generals will require all persons connected with the Army to make immediate report of all slaves arrested or coming into their possession; and if claim is not promptly made and established by the owner will send such slaves with a register of the place and date of their arrest with as little delay as practicable to the nearest depot in the State wherein the capture is made. They will also require all officers and soldiers now employing slaves forthwith to report the same and those hereafter employing them within ten days thereafter, with the names and residence of their owners and of the person by whom they were hired out and of the officer or soldier hiring, and return such reports as soon as received
to this office; and will in all other respects enforce from the officers and men under their command a strict and prompt observance of the requirements of the above- recited act of Congress.