5, Confederate General Orders No. 2, relative to troop movements, control of railroads, ban on liquor sales, establishment of martial law in Memphis and prisoners of war
March 5, 1863
The Battle for Public Health in Memphis; Collaboration between municipal and military authority
OFFICIAL - BOARD OF ALDERMEN.
At a called meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, held yesterday, March 5, 1863, Present, Hon. John Park, Mayor, Chairman Johnson, Aldermen Tighe, Morgan, Amis, Wunderman, Merril, Henghold, Mulholland and Ogden.
A quorum being announced, the Chairman took his seat, and called the Board to order, when the roll of Aldermen was called.
The following message was received from the Mayor:
To the Honorable Board of Aldermen:
Gentlemen: Brigadier General Veatch has been kind enough in his wisdom to propose to you one hundred contrabands for the purpose of improving your streets, landing, &c., on condition you making [sic] provision for their food.
I had a conference with Mr. Hardwick today. He will board the said 100 laborers, say two substantial meals daily at hours to suit, at an expense of 30 cents per day. These contrabands all have their blankets, and they can sleep in the upper portion of the Station House.
It would be well to authorize the Improvement Committee to employ say four additional overseers, to take charge of said laborers, at $50 per month.
To try the experiment of making cisterns by the city by employing mechanics at a reasonable price, one-half may be saved, instead of having the same done by contract. You can purchase any quantity of cement at $4 per barrel at present in the city, on six months' credit. Bricks can be obtained from the City Jail, which will be a saving of one-half.
All of which is most respectfully submitted for your considerations.
March 5, 1863
The following communication from General Veatch was also read:
Headquarters' Dist. of Memphis
Memphis, Tenn., March 5, '63
To the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the City of Memphis:
Gents [sic]: - The condition of the streets and alleys of your city demands hour immediate attention.
A thorough Cleaning should take place, and all offensive matter be removed; and such police regulations established as shall prevent in future deposits of matter liable to produce disease.
I have approved your levy of additional tax, as you will have ample means at your command. I will also give you control of all straggling contrabands within the limits of the city.
You will be required to have the work done without delay. Allow me then to suggest that you at once employ all the available labor white and black, and let the work commence and be carried on in each Ward, under competent managers until it is completed.
Any aid which I can give you shall be promptly rendered.
In my order approving the levy of tax, I have said nothing about the levy made by Maj. Gen. Hurlbut. It would be improper to do so. His order is in full force and must be carried out.
JAMES C. VEATCH, Brig. Gen.
The following order is the order of Gen Veatch referred to in the above communication:
HEADQUARTERS, DISTRIC OF MEMPHIS
MEMPHIS, TENN., March 5, 1863
General Order [sic] No. 28
The taxes now levied in the city of Memphis having been found insufficient to meet the public expenditures -
It is ordered that an additional tax of ten per cent. per month on the amount of all annual licenses, be levied, and collected by the Collector of Taxes on privileges, and that said taxes be paid quarterly in advance, commencing with the first day of March, 1863.
By Order of Brig. Gen. James C. Veatch.
F. W. FOX, A. A. G
The special committee appointed to wait upon General Veatch, report that he will place at the disposal of the city, for the purpose of improvement, the labor of one hundred negroes [sic]. To make this labor efficient, and give all parts of the city the immediate benefit of it, the committee recommended as follows:
1. That the city be divided into five districts, to each of which is shall be assigned the labor of twenty negroes [sic] to work under the superintendence of an overseer.
2. That the Chairman appoint a member of this Board to have special charge of each district who shall engage an overseer at a rate of wages not exceeding two dollars a day, and provide tools at the expense of the city. He shall also provide food and quarters for the negroes [sic], and direct the overseer in regard to the labor to be performed.
3. The Street Commissioner shall furnish carts and additional labor from the force under his charge, under the direction of the Mayor.
4. The districts shall be as follows: 1. From the southern boundary of the city to the north side of Linden street. 2. From the north side of Linden to the north side of Union. 3. From the north side of Union to the north side of Court. 4. From the north side of Court to the north side of Poplar. 5. From the north side of Poplar to the northern boundary.
On motion the report was adopted.
A resolution was adopted appointing the following Aldermen to supervise the cleaning of the streets:
1st district Ald. Harvey.
2d " " Ogden
3d " " Mulholland
4th " " Aldermen Amis and Wunderman
5th " " Drew and Hulbert.
After which the meeting adjourned.
Memphis Bulletin, March 6, 1863.