From the Richmond Whig, 4/20/1865, p. 2, c. 1
TO THE UNEMPLOYED POOR OF RICHMOND.
DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA,
Richmond, Va., April 18, 1865.
It is not intended that the assistance furnished to the poor of Richmond by the United States authorities, within the last fortnight, shall be permanent. Work is to be provided for all, and those who do not avail themselves of the opportunity to work, will be deprived of rations.
All colored men in Richmond can find work shelter and food on application to Captain Slaght, Assistant Quartermaster, at the steamboat wharf, and the visitors of the Relief Commission have been instructed to furnish no ration tickets to this class of individuals.
All destitute persons, white or colored, who have come in from the country are directed to return to their homes where there is abundance of work and where work will produce food.
It has been announced to the authorities that instances have occurred of persons drawing rations, when they were already supplied with food. Similar cases will be summarily and severely punished. It is intended to supply none but those who are absolutely destitute, and who are unable to obtain work.
It is also brought to the attention of the authorities that men and women of the vagrant sort upon not receiving the amount of supplies, or the ration tickets that they claimed, have threatened the lives of the visitors, who were engaged in investigating their cases. The promptest punishment will be meted out to any guilty of this offence; men will be placed in irons, and women in close confinement at once.
While the United States authority is anxious to relieve entirely the suffering existing here, it is equally determined not to allow its benevolence to be abused or misapplied.
By command of Maj. Gen. Ord.
Lieut. Col. and Prest. Relief Commission.