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GENERAL ORDERS * No. 70.**.
HEADQUARTERS, DEPARTMENT OF THE GULP.
New Orleans, September 28, 1863.
I. The heroic efforts of the Army of the United States have re-established the free navigation of the Mississippi and its tributaries. The vindication of the freedom of these waters by the iron hand of war, against a confederation of rebel States, is an event of equal import with their discovery and settlement, and makes the Union a nation. It is a baptism of blood. In a brief period of time this vast and fertile valley will be opened to the peaceful commerce of the world.
Notwithstanding the ravages of war, the destruction of property, the dispersion of laborers, and the decimation of population, the inhabitable globe does not offer a nobler theatre for intelligent enterprise than the Valley of the Mississippi. The cultivation of new products, the application of new elements and different systems of labor, the immediate re organization of local Governments and the resistless energy of many millions of freemen, will create individual and national wealth, such as the world has never seen. Never was a country better worth fighting for, better worth defending. .. The highest duty of the people is to maintain and defend the freedom of the Mississippi, upon which depends the support of the present and the hope of the future. The Government is entitled to the armed assistance of all those who claim the right of citizens or seek to share their privileges. Those who covet the profits of trade, disclaiming citizenship and acknowledging allegiance to foreign nations only, remain here by permission and favor, and not of right.
In the performance of this duty, and to assist in maintaining the important advantages secured by free communication between the Valley of the Mississippi and the markets of the world, the citizens of the First and Second Congressional Districts of Louisiana, liable to military duty, have been enrolled for general military service, in accordance with the provisions of the law of Conscription, passed by Congress, so far as it may be applicable to this Department. Proper publication will be hereafter made of the number of troops required for this purpose, and the time and manner of their selection. The conscription will not be held to embrace those well-disposed persons who, in the event of capture by the enemy, would not be entitled to the full immunity of soldiers of the United States.
II. The organization of one or more volunteer regiments, to be designated “ The New Orleans Volunteers,” whose services will be limited, by the terms of enlistment, to the protection and defence of New Orleans, is hereby authorized.
Volunteers for this service will receive a bounty of one hundred dollars, twentyfive of which, and one month's pay will be advanced when the volunteer is mus. tered into service for the war. Capt. C. W. Kuborn, Provost Marshal of the city of New Orleans, is charged with the immediate organization and command of the first regiment: Capt. R. W. BROWN, Provost Marshal of the Parish of Jefferson, is authorized to orgnnize and command the second regiment. The first regiment will be recruited and organized in the city of New Orleans, excepting the Fourth District, and the second within the limits of the Parish of Jefferson and the Fourth District of New Orleans. * III. - Able-bodied men of color between the ages of 20 and 30 years, employed upon Government or private plantations, will be detailed for military service in the corps d'Afrique, upon order of the Commission of Enrollment. No officer or other person is allowed to recruit men' for any special regiment of that corps, and every officer recruiting for this corps under this' order will be required to exhibit authority for his acts, signed by the Superintendent of Recruiting, and approved by the Commission of Enrollments. ' Substitutes will be received in cases where the labor of the recruit is specially required, and exemptions allowed in cases of necessity, upon application to the Commission of Enrollment, bat by no other person or authority. Arrangements will be made tỏ secure the crops of the season, and laborers will be furnished as far as practicable to supply the vacancies occasioned by the execution of this order.' The first duty of those engaged in the cultivation of the soil is to protect it from invasion, and those whose interests are inconsistent with a vigorous defence of the Department, or who are indifferent to the invasions of a public enemy, can have no rights which the Government is bound to respect.
II. "Headquarters for Convalescents.” III. Commission to Inspect Hospitals. IV. Stragglers.
HEADQUARTERS, DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF.
Vew Orleans, September 28, 1863.
I. Soldiers of the Army of the Gulf employed as nurses or attendants, in military or private Hospitals, will be relieved from that duty, and ordered to their regiments as soon as the welfare of the sick and the general interests of the service will permit; and well-instructed competent female nurses and attendants will be employed, at such rates of compensation as may be ordered by the Medical Director of the Department, not to exceed $18 per month.
II. In order that the IIospitals may be relieved from care of soldiers who can safely be discharged therefrom, although not well enough for field service, and that convalescents may not be subjected to the unnecessary hardships of an immediate transfer from the Hospital to the Army in the field, the Medical Director of the Department is charged with the duty of establishing suitable " Headquarters for Convalescents.” The camp will be subject to medical supervision, but under the command of a competent military officer. Designed especially to assist convalescents, and for the recuperation of exhausted men, it will be furnished with means of instruction, recreation, discipline, and general improvement of health.
III. A commission will be appointed by the officer in command of the defences of New Orleans, or at any post at which general Hospitals may he established, to consist of one military and one medical officer, who shall once in two weeks, or oftener, inspect the several Hospitals and Ileadquarters of convalescents, for the purpose of directing the transfer of soldiers from the Hospitals to the quarters of convalescents, and from these quarters to the regiments in the field, whenever the condition of the men and the interests of the service require it. Officers, superintending Hospitals and convalescent camps, will take especial care that these transfers are promptly and properly executed; and they are hereby authorized to make these transfers, whenever, in their judgment, the public service may require them.
IV. The Provost Marshal General, and his Deputies, are hereby directed to return all stragglers from the Army to the Headquarters of convalescents. BY COMMAND OF MAJOR GENERAL BANKS :
G. NORMAN LIEBER,
Acting Assistant Adjutant General.
Acting Assistant Adjutant General.