Law Equalizing the Pay of Black Soldiers

CHAP. CXXIV.–An Act making Appropriations for the Support of the Army for the Year ending the thirtieth June, eighteen hundred and sixty-five, and for other Purposes.

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SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That all persons of color who have been or may be mustered into the military service of the United States shall receive the same uniform, clothing, arms, equipments, camp equipage, rations, medical and hospital attendance, pay and emoluments, other than bounty, as other soldiers of the regular or volunteer forces of the United States of like arm of the service, from and after the first day of January, eighteen hundred and sixty-four; and that every person of color who shall hereafter be mustered into the service shall receive such sums in bounty as the President shall order in the different states and parts of the United States, not exceeding one hundred dollars.

SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That all persons enlisted and mustered into service as volunteers under the call, dated October seventeen, eighteen hundred and sixty-three, for three hundred thousand volunteers, who were at the time of enlistment actually enrolled and subject to draft in the state in which they volunteered, shall receive from the United States the same amount of bounty without regard to color.

SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That all persons of color who were free on the nineteenth day of April, eighteen hundred and sixty-one, and who have been enlisted and mustered into the military service of the United States, shall, from the time of their enlistment, be entitled to receive the pay, bounty, and clothing allowed to such persons by the laws existing at the time of their enlistment. And the Attorney-General of the United States is hereby authorized to determine any question of law arising under this provision. And if the Attorney-General aforesaid shall determine that any of such enlisted persons are entitled to receive any pay, bounty, or clothing, in addition to what they have already received, the Secretary of War shall make all necessary regulations to enable the pay department to make payment in accordance with such determination.

SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That all enlistments hereafter made in the regular army of the United States, during the continuance of the present rebellion, may be for the term of three years.

APPROVED, June 15, 1864.

U.S., Statutes at Large, Treaties, and Proclamations of the United States, vol. 13 (Boston, 1866), pp. 126–30.