War of the Rebellion: Serial 008 Page 0381 Chapter XVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC,-UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

or culpable neglect of those whose duty it was to have them organized according to law and properly furnished with arms, clothing, and provisions, and he will hereafter punish with severity every neglect of this kind.

* * * *

III. Numerous cases have been brought to the attention of the commanding general of alleged seizure and destruction of private property in this department, showing an outrageous abuse of power and a violation of the laws of far. To avoid a recurrence of these evils the following rules will hereafter be observed:

1st. No private property will be taken, except where necessary for the subsistence or transportation of the troops or in cases of persons in arms against the United States or affording aid and assistance to the enemy.

2nd. Where it becomes necessary to take private property for the former purpose, intelligent and responsible officers will be detailed for that purpose, who will take an accurate account of the property so taken, and give receipts therefor. All such property much be duly returned and accounted for, and the authority for the seizure must be stated in the receipts and returns. Any unauthorized and unnecessary seizure or destruction of private property will be punished with the extreme penalty imposed by the laws of war, which is death.

3rd. The seizure and conversion of the private property of an enemy (where not required for immediate supplies, as provided in the foregoing paragraph) is justifiable only in particular cases, provided for by the laws of the United States and the general laws or war, and should never be made except by the orders of the officers highest in command, who will be held accountable for the exercise of this power. Great caution should be used in this matter, as much injustice has been done to individuals who are not enemies, and much discredit cast upon our patriotic army by excesses committed by unauthorized persons pretending to act in the name of the United States. All property taken from alleged enemies must be inventoried and duly accounted for.

Any person violating these rules will be immediately arrested and reported to headquarters.

IV. In all cases where prisoners taken at others posts or in the field are sent to Saint Louis, they will be accompanied with a written statement of the charges against them and the evidence upon which the arrest was based. Otherwise prisoners so sent will be released on their arrival here.

V. No person will be hereafter arrested without god and substantial reasons, and officers making arrests without sufficient cause or without authority will be held to account and punished. And officers sending prisoners to Saint Louis without charges, proofs, or proper explanations, will be charged with the expenses of their transportation.

By order of Major-General Halleck:


Assistant Adjutant-General.

SEDALIA, November 27, 1861.

General HALLECK:

Steen's division of the enemy is at Wilson's Ferry, 10 miles from Clinton Prairie, at Osceola, and the country full of returned secessionist,