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Records, 5 Feb. 1862-7 Mar. 1866, of United States Army,
Dept. of the South, [Addition]

Eighty-eight printed manuscripts, 5 February 1862 - 7 March 1866, General Orders and Circulars from the Department of the South, United States Army, deal primarily with the organization and administration of the military command of Brig. Gen. Rufus Saxton of the sea islands of South Carolina.

General Orders No. 7, 22 August 1862, addresses "the hope of correcting a deplorable evil," bigomy among the freedmen. "Any negro claiming to have, or charged with having more than one wife, is required to confine himself to, and, if need be, support that one to whom he has been lawfully married. If no such marriage has ever been celebrated, he will select that one of his so-called wives who is the mother of his children, if any he have; and, after a marriage service duly performed by some Minister of the Gospel, take her to himself as his own sole lawful wife." Thereafter, all infractions "will be liable to arrest and imprisonment."

On 18 October 1862, General Orders No. 10 decreed "the 1st Regiment of South Carolina Volunteers will be organized as soon as possible." Encouraging enlistments, the order states that by an act of Congress "all slaves of rebel masters who enter into the service of the United States, are forever free." Recruits were to report to the regimental headquarters at Smith's plantation. However, General Orders No. 17, dated 8 March 1863, revealed a lack of volunteers and invoked a draft of "every able-bodied freedman in this department, between the ages of eighteen and fifty years." By 16 August 1864 "great numbers of unemployed colored men and deserters hiding about to avoid labor or service" would cause General Orders No. 119 to be published. It outlined punishment for shirkers and provided provisions for plantation superintendents placing such persons under arrest.

Other topics include the procedures for cotton harvests and proclamations of thanksgiving. This collection also includes sundry General Orders of the Headquarters, Bureau for Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands for South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

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