War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0363 Chapter XXIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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manner, seize and use any property, real or personal, which may be necessary or convenient for their several commands for supplies or for other military purposes; and that while property may be destroyed for proper military objects, none shall be destroyed in wantonness or malice.

Second. That military and naval commanders shall employ as laborers, within and from said States, so many persons of African descent as can be advantageously used for military or naval purposes, giving them reasonable wages for their labor.

Third, That, as to both property and persons of African descent, accounts shall be kept sufficiently accurate and in detail to show quantities and amounts, and from whom both property and such persons shall have come, as a basis upon which compensation can be made in proper cases; and the several departments of this Government shall attend to and perform their appropriate parts toward the execution of these orders.

By order of the President:


Secretary of War.

No official copy of this order has been received at these headquarters, and the general commanding has for this reason delayed the issuing of a general order to carry into effect the views and directions of the President. Some recent occurrences in this army have, however, shown that it has become necessary to do so to prevent this executive order being made a pretext for military license.

The order of the President accords so substantially with the course uniformly pursued by this army on this Peninsula under the orders and instructions of the general commanding, that no material change in any respect is required thereby in its conduct and government.

Personal property necessary or convenient for supplies or other military purposes of this army will be, as heretofore, seized and used by the proper quartermasters or subsistence officers upon the orders of commanders of army corps; or, in cases of troops employed on detached service where army corps commanders are not accessible, by order of the officer in command of such detached force.

In all cases the officers thus making the seizures shall take an account showing the kind and quantities of property seized and by whose command; the amounts of its estimated value and the names of the persons from whom the same shall have come. Whenever circumstances admit of so doing receipts will be given to the owners or their agents, specifying simply the particulars above mentioned. Copies of all such accounts and receipts will be transmitted in the usual manner by the officers making them to these headquarters.

All officers and soldiers of this army are enjoined and ordered to abstain from all seizures of private property except in the mode above prescribed; all other appropriations will be regarded and punished as pillage. The idea that private property may be plundered with impunity is perhaps the very worst that can pervade an army. Marauding degrades as men and demoralizes as soldiers all who engage in it and returns them to their homes unfitted for the pursuits of honest industry. This army is composed mostly of young, and the general commanding, to whose care they are intrusted, owes it to the parents who have sent their sons and to the communities that have sent the flower of their youth into the military service of their country to warn and restrain them from an evil so pernicious.

The order of the President requires the application of a similar rule in the use of real property. This, however, does not apply to such uses as are inseparable from military operations, to wit, marches, camps, pasturage, hospitals, depots, quarters, and damages occasioned by active hostilities; but no use should be made or injury done to real property beyond what is actually necessary or convenient for military purposes.

The destruction of any species of property in wantonness or malice