28, Chapter 24, in eleven sections, passed by the 31st (Confederate) General Assembly, relative to the authorization of the Governor to draft free persons of color into the Army of Tennessee:
Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, That from and after the passage of this act the Governor shall be, and he is hereby, authorized, at his discretion, to receive into the military service of the State all male free persons of color between the ages of fifteen (15) and fifty (50) -- or such numbers as may be necessary, who may be sound in mind and body and capable of actual service.
Sec. 2. Be it further enacted, That such free persons of color shall be required to do all such menial service for the relief of the volunteers as is incident to camp life, and necessary to the efficiency of the service, and of which they are capable of performing.
Sec. 3. Be it further enacted, That such free persons of color shall receive, each, eight dollars per month as pay, for such person shall be entitled to draw, each, one ration per day, and shall be entitled to a yearly allowance each of clothing.
Sec. 4. Be it further enacted, That in order to carry out the provisions of this act it shall be the duty of the sheriffs of the several counties in this State to collect accurate information as to the number and condition, with the names of free persons of color subject to the provisions of this act, and shall, as it is practicable, report the same in writing to the Governor.
Sec. 5. Be it further enacted, That a failure or refusal of the sheriffs, or any one or more of them, to perform the duties required by the fourth section of this act, shall be deemed an offense, and on conviction thereof, shall be punished for misdemeanor, at the discretion of the Judge of the Circuit or Criminal Courts having cognizance of the same.
Sec. 6. Be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of officers in command to see that the class of persons who may enter the service under the provisions of this act, do not suffer from neglect or maltreatment.
Sec. 7. Be it further enacted, That in the event a sufficient number of free persons of color to meet the wants of the State shall not tender their services, then the Governor is empowered, through the sheriffs of the different counties, to impress such persons until the requisite number is obtained; in doing so, he will have regard to the population of such persons in the several counties, and shall direct the sheriffs to determine by lot those that are required to served.
Sec. 8. Be it further enacted, That the expenses incurred in this branch of the service shall be regarded as a part of the army expenses, and provided for accordingly.
Sec. 9. Be it further enacted, That when any mess of volunteers shall keep a servant to wait on the members of the mess, each servant shall be allowed to draw one ration.
Sec. 10. Be it further enacted, That the Adjutants of Regiments may be selected from the private soldiers in the line of the service as well as from the officers in the service.
Sec. 11. Be it further enacted, That this act take effect from and after its passage
W.C. Whitthorne, Speaker of the House of Representatives
B.L. Stoval, Speaker of the Senate. Passed June 28, 1861
Public Acts of the State of Tennessee, pp. 49-50.
Public Acts of the State of Tennessee, passed at the extra session of the Thirty-Third General Assembly, April, 1861 (Nashville: J.G. Griffith & Co, Public Printers, Union and American Office, 1861), Chapter 24, pp. 49-50. See also: OR, Ser. IV, Vol. 1, p. 409.