To Perpetuate Testimony in cases of Slaves Abducted of Harbored by the Enemy, and of other Property Seized, Wasted, or Destroyed by them. No. 270.
SECTION 1. The congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That when any slave or slaves owned by a citizen of the Confederate States, or an inhabitant thereof, shall be, or may have been abducted or harbored by the enemy, or by any person or persons acting under the authority, or color of authority of the United States government, or engaged in the military or naval service thereof, during the existing war, it shall be lawful for the owner of his attorney to appear before any Judge of the Confederate States, or a Commissioner of any Court thereof, or any Notary Public,…and adduce proof, oral or written, of the fact of such ownership and abduction or harboring….In all cases such owner, attorney or representative shall make affidavit of the loss. Such affidavit shall not be taken as evidence of the fact of loss, unless it shall appear to the satisfaction of the officer taking the same that no other and better evidence can be obtained…and it shall be the duty of the judicial officer…and within thirty days after the hearing, to transmit the same to the Secretary of State of the Confederate States, to be filed and preserved among the archives of the State Department….
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted,, That whenever any property, other than slaves, real or personal, belonging to any citizen of the Confederate States, or any inhabitant thereof, shall be seized, wasted or destroyed by the enemy, during the existing war, or by any person or persons acting under the authority, or color of authority of the United States government, or engaged in the military or naval service thereof, the mode of taking and preserving proof thereof shall conform in all respects to that prescribed in the above sectin, and have like effect.
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the provisions of this act shall not be construed as implying that the Confederate States are in any liable to make compensation for any of the property to which it refers.
APPROVED August 30, 1861