26 January 1864: “A bill to be entitled An act to authorize the impressment of meat for the use of the army, under certain circumstances.”

Item Description:  This document, dated 26 January 1864, represents a copy of a bill to authorize the impressment of meat for the use of the Confederate army, under certain circumstances.  This bill was presented before the Confederate States of America House of Representatives.

[Scans courtesy of Internet Archive and Duke University Library. This item can also be found via the Rare Book Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.]


Item Citation:  “A bill to be entitled An act to authorize the impressment of meat for the use of the army, under certain circumstances.” Confederate States of America. Congress. House of Representatives.; Richmond, Va., 1864. Call number 398 Conf., Rare Book Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

[House Bill.]

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, Jan. 26, 1864 — Read first and second times, placed on the Calendar, and ordered to be printed.

[By Mr. Goode.]

To be entitled An Act to authorize the impressment of meat for the use of the army, under certain circumstances.

1  SECTION 1. The Congress of the Confederate States of America do
2  enact, That whenever the President shall declare that the public
3  exigencies render it necessary, impressments of meat, for the use
4  of the army, may be made from any supplies that may exist in the
5  country, under the express condition that just compensation shall
6  be afforded to the owner of the meat taken or impressed, and sub-
7  ject to the following restrictions and limitations:

1  SEC. 2. The power to direct such impressment shall be con-
2  ferred upon the Secretary of War; but he shall not reduce the
3  supplies of any person below one-half of the quantity usually al-
4  lowed for the support of himself, his family, and dependants for
5  the year. He shall exercise the said power by orders directed to
6  the officers or agents he may employ, who shall have explicit in-
7  structions as to the mode of its execution, and injunctions that
8  the same shall not be abused.

1  SEC. 3. That these orders shall direct that a notice shall be
2  given to the owner of the meat needed, his bailee or other agent,
3  declaring the quantity required, the price offered, the existence
4  of a necessity, and whether possession is to be taken of the same
5  immediately, and with whom the risk of the safe-keeping is to be
6  pending the negotiation, and in what manner the compensation
7  shall be settled, in case the offer is not accepted—service of which
8  notice shall be a condition precedent to any impressment or
9  seizure by the impressing officer.

1  SEC. 4. That upon the service of this notice upon the owner
2  of any meat liable to impressment, the owner shall hold the same,
3  subject to the claim of the Confederate States, and shall be en-
4  titles to just compensation, according to the provisions of this
5  act; and if the necessity is declared by the impressing officer to
6  be urgent, he shall deliver the possession to the impressing
7  officer upon his demand, who shall give a receipt therefor, as
8  provided in the sixth section of this act.

1  SEC. 5. That for the ascertainment of the quantity of meat liable
2  to impressment under this act, and also of just compensation for
3  the same, where the owner and the impressing officer cannot
4  agree, the impressing officer shall appoint one loyal and disinter-
5  ested citizen of the country, district or parish, in which the meat
6  impressed shall be at the time of impressment, and the owner of
7  the meat so impressed, his agent, or other bailee shall appoint
8  another, who shall, upon oath, ascertain the quantity liable to
9  impressment, and the value of the same at the date of the notice
10  served upon the party, which oath may be administered by the
11  impressing officer, and which ascertainment of the quantity and
12  value shall be conclusive evidence thereof; and if the assessors
13  cannot agree, they may associate with them a third person, of
14  like qualifications, to make said assessment.

1  SEC 6. That whenever an impressment shall be made, under
2  this act, it shall be the duty of the impressing officer to give an
3  official certificate, showing the quantity taken, the company, bat-
4  talion, regiment or other command, for whose use it is required,
5  the compensation to be paid, the circumstances of necessity that
6  existed, which certificate shall be evidence of a claim against the
7  Confederate States, and shall be promptly paid by the disbursing
8  officer of the command for which the meat was taken, or by the
9  chief of the bureau having charge of disbursements for similar
10  objects.

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