offenders. The soldiers of the Republic are here to enforce, not violate, the laws, and to give protection to persons and property. If it be disgraceful in a citizen to steal, it is doubly so in the soldier, for he wears a badge of authority, and the public look up to him for protection, not indignity and insult.
Hereafter any soldier in this command caught in the act of committing depredations or with the evidence of theft about his person or quarters will be stripped of his arms and accouterments and sent back to Alexandria, there to be confined in the common jail and await his trial by the civil authorities. No thief shall be permitted to accompany this division on its march if it be in the power of the general commanding to prevent it.
The division provost-marshal and the deputy provost-marshal of the several brigades will exercise the utmost vigilance in guarding against the outrages complained of an in arresting all parties concerned in their perpetration.
By order of Brigadier-General King, commanding division:
HEADQUARTERS MOUNTAIN DEPARTMENT, Wheeling, Va., April 7, 1862.
Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
SIR: I am informed by the Governor here that a systematic plan of guerrilla warfare has been arranged and organized for Western Virginia under the sanction of the Confederate Congress and the rebel legislature at Richmond. Those who have enlisted with the rebels are to be transferred to these ranger companies, as they are called. These facts are contained in letters found on captured rebels.
I think it is highly important that the cavalry force should be increased, and that it should be armed with carbines or short Enfield rifles to place them upon an equality with the guerrillas and inspire them with proper confidence in themselves.
On Saturday night last one of these bushwhacking parties entered Bulltown, Braxton County, cut the telegraph wire, shot the mail carrier, who was at the station, swore the operator to secrecy, took all of his personal effects, and decamped.
Instructions have been issued to all commanding officers to exercise great vigilance and to use their utmost exertions to break up and destroy these parties.
I shall send you memoranda of events as they occur from time to time.
Awaiting your reply to my telegram of last night, I am, very respectfully,
J. C. FREMONT,
HEADQUARTERS MOUNTAIN DEPARTMENT, Wheeling, April 7, 1862.
Brigadier General B. F. KELLEY,
Commanding Railroad District, Wheeling:
GENERAL: Brigadier General R. C. Schenck, commanding the District of Cumberland, has been directed to advance from Romney and Moore-