1861 Order - Contrabands to be Employed as Laborers - General Thomas W. Sherman


1861 Order - Contrabands to be Employed as Laborers - General Thomas W. Sherman


Item No. SQ8923045

Offered here is an interesting original document from the Civil War. This circular, issued by General Thomas W. Sherman, commanding the Department of the South at Hilton Head, South Carolina, specified that former slaves (referred to as Contrabands) offering their services to Union forces would be accepted as laborers. It is signed by Captain Louis H. Pelouze, on General Sherman's staff. The circular reads, in full:

Head Quarters E. C.,
Hilton Head, S. C.
December 18th 1861.
Commanders of posts will receive all Contrabands who freely offer their services to the Government, and employ them in such services as they may be fitted for, and any surplus they may have of able bodied individuals, over and above the wants of their posts, they will send with full description to the Chief Quarter Master at these Head Quarters, for labor at the Depot.
A Record will be kept showing the name and description of the person, the name and the character, as loyal or disloyal of the Master, and such other facts as may be necessary to a correct understanding of the circumstances of each case; a copy of this Record will be sent to the Assistant Adjutant General at these Head Quarters, on the fifteenth and last days of each month.
By order of Brig. Genl. T. W. Sherman
L. H. Pelouze
Capt. 15th Infantry,
Act. Assistant Adjt. Genl.

Docketed on reverse.

The circular measures about 5" x 8". The paper is in excellent sturdy condition, not stiff, and not particularly delicate. Light wear to corners and edges. There is a single crease up the middle where the document was at one time folded.

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