Order Concerning Lessees and Owners of Plantations Worked by Freedmen

Executive Mansion,
September [30?], 1864.

For the purpose of encouraging persons, formerly held as slaves, to labor as freedmen in insurrectionary States that they may become self-supporting, and that the products of their labor may benefit the country, and for the purpose of protecting all persons employing such labor under rules relating thereto, established under proper authority, it is hereby ordered:

I. All officers, commanding military Departments, Districts, Posts, Naval fleets and vessels, will at once suspend all orders made by them or in force within their respective commands, so far as they prohibit or in any manner interfere with the transportation of supplies to, or products from, any plantation worked by free labor under rules relating thereto, prescribed or approved by the Secretary of the Treasury: Provided such transportation is being made in pursuance of permits granted by duly authorized officers of the Treasury Department, and all persons hindering or interfering with transportation to or from such plantations so worked, which has been so permitted, will be deemed guilty of a military offence and punished accordingly.

II. Agreements have been made with owners of lands who have recognized the freedom of their former slaves, and leases have been made of abandoned plantations under authority of the Government, and good faith to such owners and lessees requires due observance of the terms of all such agreements and leases on the part of all civil and military officers of the Government; therefore all military and naval officers will aid in securing such observance by every means at their command which can be used for that purpose without interfering with active military or naval operations.

III. Such orders will be made by general and local military and naval commanders as will insure the fulfilment of the purposes of this order, and as will afford the greatest possible protection to the laborers and employers above named, consistent with the safety of their commands and the success of any military or naval movement being made by them.

Although corrected in Lincoln’s autograph […], this order was not signed or issued.


To Ulysses S. Grant

“Cypher”                    Office U.S. Military Telegraph,
Lieut. Gen. Grant    War Department,
City-Point, Va           Washington, D.C., Sep. 29 1864.

I hope it will lay no constraint on you, nor do harm any way, for me to say I am a little afraid lest Lee sends re-enforcements to Early, and thus enables him to turn upon Sheridan.


To William S. Rosecrans

                                                       Executive Mansion,
Major General Rosecrans,       Washington, Sep. 26, 1864

One can not always safely disregard a report, even which one may not believe. I have a report that you incline to deny the soldiers the right of attending the election in Missouri, on the assumed ground that they will get drunk and make disturbance. Last year I sent Gen. Schofield a letter of instruction, dated October 1st, 1863, which I suppose you will find on the files of the Department, and which contains, among other things, the following:

“At elections see that those and only those, are allowed to vote, who are entitled to do so by the laws of Missouri, including as of those laws, the restrictions laid by the Missouri Convention upon those who may have participated in the rebellion.”

This I thought right then, and think right now; and I may add I do not remember that either party complained after the election, of Gen. Schofield’s action under it. Wherever the law allows soldiers to vote, their officers must also allow it. Please write me on this subject. Yours truly, A. LINCOLN.

Executive Order Relative to the Purchase of Products of Insurrectionary States

Executive Mansion, September 24, 1864.

I. Congress having authorized the purchase for the United States of the Products of States declared in insurrection, and the Secretary of the Treasury having designated New Orleans, Memphis, Nash-ville, Pensacola, Port Royal, Beaufort, North Carolina, and Norfolk, as places of purchase, and, with my approval, appointed agents and made regulations under which said products may be purchased: Therefore,

II. All persons, except such as may be in the civil, military, or naval service of the government, having in their possession any products of States declared in insurrection, which said agents are authorized to purchase, and all persons owning or controlling such products therein, are authorized to convey such products to either of the places which have been hereby, or may hereafter be, designated, as places of purchase, and such products, so destined, shall not be liable to detention, seizure, or forfeiture, while in transituor in store waiting transportation.

III. Any person having the certificate of a purchasing agent, as prescribed by Treasury Regulation VIII, is authorized to pass, with the necessary means of transportation to the points named in said certificate, and to return therefrom with the products required for the fulfilment of the stipulations set forth in said certificate.

IV. Any person having sold and delivered to a purchasing agent any products of an insurrectionary State, in accordance with the regulations in relation thereto, and having in his possession a certificate setting forth the fact of such purchase and sale, the character and quantity of products, and the aggregate amount paid therefor, as prescribed by Regulation IX, shall be permitted by the military authority commanding at the place of sale to purchase from any authorized dealer at such place, or any other place in a loyal State, merchandise, and other articles not contraband of war, nor prohibited by order of the War Department, nor coin, bullion, or foreign exchange, to an amount not exceeding in value one third of the aggregate value of the products sold by him as certified by the agent purchasing; and the merchandise and other articles so purchased may be transported by the same route, and to the same place, from and by which the products sold and delivered reached the purchasing agent, as set forth in the certificate, and such merchandise and other articles shall have safe conduct, and shall not be subject to detention, seizure, or forfeiture while being transported to the places and by the routes set forth in the said certificate.

V. Generals commanding military districts, and commandants of military posts and detachments, and officers commanding fleets, flotillas, and gunboats, will give safe conduct to persons and products, merchandise, and other articles duly authorized as aforesaid, and not contraband of war, or prohibited by order of the War Department, or the orders of such generals commanding, or other duly authorized military or naval officer, made in pursuance hereof, and all persons hindering or preventing such safe conduct of persons or property will be deemed guilty of a military offense and punished accordingly.

VI. Any person transporting, or attempting to transport, any merchandise or other articles except in pursuance of regulations of the Secretary of the Treasury, dated July 29, 1864, or in pursuance of this order, or transporting or attempting to transport any merchandise or other articles contraband of war or forbidden by any order of the War Department, will be deemed guilty of a military offence and punished accordingly; and all products of insurrectionary States found in transitu to any other person or place, than a purchasing agent, and a designated place of purchase shall be seized and forfeited to the United States, except such as may be moving to a loyal State under duly authorized permits of a proper officer of the Treasury Department, as prescribed by Regulation XXXVIII, concerning “commercial intercourse,” dated July 29, 1864, or such as may have been found abandoned, or have been captured, and are moving in pursuance of the act of March 12, 1864.

VII. No military or naval officer of the United States, or person in the military or naval service, nor any civil officer, except such as are appointed for that purpose, shall engage in trade or traffic in the products of insurrectionary States, or furnish transportation therefor under pain of being deemed guilty of unlawful trading with the enemy and punished accordingly.

VIII. The Secretary of War will make such general orders or regulations as will insure the proper observance and execution of this order, and the Secretary of the Navy will give instructions to officers commanding fleets, flotillas, and gunboats in conformity therewith. ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

To William Dennison

Cypher                               Office U.S. Military Telegraph,
Gov. William Dennison     War Department,
Columbus, Ohio                  Washington, D.C., Sep. 24 1864.

Mr. Blair has resigned, and I appoint you Post-Master General. Come on immediately. A. LINCOLN

To Montgomery Blair

Hon. Montgomery Blair       Executive Mansion,
My dear Sir.                            Washington, Sep. 23. 1864.

You have generously said to me more than once, that whenever your resignation could be a relief to me, it was at my disposal. The time has come. You very well know that this proceeds from no dissatisfaction of mine with you personally or officially. Your uniform kindness has been unsurpassed by that of any friend; and, while it is true that the war does not so greatly add to the difficulties of your Department, as to those of some others, it is yet much to say, as I most truly can, that in the three years and a half during which you have administered the General Post-Office, I remember no single complaint against you in connection therewith. Yours


To Ulysses S. Grant

Executive Mansion,       Washington,
Lieut. General Grant      Sep. 22, 1864.

I send this as an explanation to you, and to do justice to the Secretary of War. I was induced, upon pressing application, to authorize agents of one of the Districts of Pennsylvania to recruit in one of the prisoner depots in Illinois; and the thing went so far before it came to the knowledge of the Secretary of War that in my judgment it could not be abandoned without greater evil than would follow it’s going through. I did not know, at the time, that you had protested against that class of thing being done; and I now say that while this particular job must be completed, no other of the sort, will be authorized, without an understanding with you, if at all. The Secretary of War is wholly free of any part in this blunder. Yours truly A. LINCOLN