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War Department, 
Washington City, April 8th 1868, 

Complaints are made to this Department respecting certain contracts alleged to be made by Gen. Charles Howard of your Bureau for the employment of colored persons beyond the District of Columbia and conditioned that the colored persons so employed shall remain out of the District for six months with the forfeiture of wages if they return within that period. You will please make immediate report to me what contracts have been or are being made by Gen. Charles Howard with a copy of the law or regulation under which they are made, and direct him immediately to abstain from making any contracts until further order from this Department. 
Very respectfully Yours 
(Signed) Edwin M. Stanton  
Secretary of War      

Major Gen Howard
Commissioner etc.

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