confined at hard labor, with balls and chains attached to their limbs, and are still so held, in dungeons and fortresses. Others have been subjected to a like degrading punishment for selling medicines to the sick soldiers of the Confederacy.
The soldiers of the United States have been invited and encouraged by general orders to insult and outrage the wives, the mothers, and the sisters of our citizens.
Helpless women have been torn from their homes and subjected to solitary confinement, some in fortresses and prisons and one especially on an island of barren sand under a tropical sun, have been fed with loathsome rations that had been condemned as unfit for soldiers, and have been exposed to the vilest insults.
Prisoners of war who surrendered to the naval forces of the United States on agreement that they should be released on parole have been seized and kept in close confinement.
Repeated pretexts have been sought or invented for plundering the inhabitants of the captured city by fines, levied and exacted under threat of imprisoning recusants at hard labor with ball and chain.
The entire population of the city of New Orleans have been forced to elect between starvation, by the confiscation of all their property, and taking an oath against conscience to bear allegiance to the invaders of their country.
Egress from the city has been refused to those whose fortitude withstood the test, even to lone and aged women and to helpless children; and after being ejected from their homes and robbed of their property they have been left to starve in the streets or subsist on charity.
The slaves have been driven from the plantations in the neighborhood of New Orleans till their owners would consent to share the crops with the commanding general, his brother, Andrew J. Butler, and other officers; and when such consent had been extorted the slaves have been restored to the plantations, and there compelled to work under the bayonets of guards of United States soldiers.
Where this partnership was refused armed expeditions have been sent to the plantations to rob them of every thing that was susceptible of removal, and even slaves too aged or infirm for work have, in spite of their entreaties, been forced from the homes provided by the owners and driven to wander helpless on the highway.
By a recent general order (No. 91) the entire property in that part of Louisiana lying west of the Mississippi River has been sequestrated for confiscation, and officers have been assigned to duty, with orders to "gather up and collect the personal property and turn over to the proper officers upon their receipts such of said property as may be required for the use of the United States Army; to collect together all the other personal property and bring the same to New Orleans and cause it to be sold at public auction to the highest bidders" - an order which, if executed, condemns to punishment by starvation at least a quarter of a million of human beings of all ages, sexes, and conditions; and of which the execution, although forbidden to military officers by the orders of President Lincoln, is in accordance with the confiscation law of our enemies, which he has directed to be enforced through the agency of civil officials. And, finally, the African slaves have not only been excited to insurrection by every license and encouragement, but numbers of them have actually been armed for a servile war - a war in its nature far exceeding in horrors the most merciless atrocities of the savages.
And whereas the officers under the command of the said Butler have been in many instances active and zealous agents in the commission of these crimes, and no instance is known of the refusal of any one of them to participate in the outrages above narrated;
And whereas the President of the United States has, by public and official declaration, signified not only his approval of the effort to excite servile war within the Confederacy, but his intention to give aid and encouragement thereto if these independent States shall continue to refuse submission to a foreign power after the first day of January next, and has thus made known that all appeals to the laws of nations, the dictates of reason, and the instincts of humanity would be addressed in vain to our enemies, and that they can be deterred from the commission of these crimes only by the terms of just retribution:
Now, therefore, I, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, and acting by their authority, appealing to the Divine Judge in attestation that their conduct is not guided by the passion of revenge, but that they reluctantly yield to the solemn duty of repressing, by necessary severity, crimes of which their citizens are the victims, do issue this my proclamation, and by virtue of my authority as Commander-in-Chief of the Armies of the Confederate States do order -
1st. That all commissioned officers in the command of said Benjamin F. Butler be declared not entitled to be considered as soldiers engaged in honorable warfare, but as rogers and criminals, deserving death; and that they and each of them be, whenever captured, reserved for execution.
2nd. That the private soldiers and non-commissioned officers in the army of said Butler be considered as only the instruments used for the commission of the crimes