now especially directs the colonels of regiments, captains of companies, and regimental quartermasters to give their personal attention to this matter, to remove all such now in camp, and to prevent any more from following our camp or columns of march.
The laws of Congress command that we do not surrender back to the master a fugitive slave. That is not a soldier's business nor is it his business to smuggle him away. Let the master and slave look to the civil authorities and not to us. Also the laws of war make the property of the enemy liable to confiscation if used for warlike purposes, such as horses and wagons hauling stores, slaves making forts, &c. In such cases the commanding officer would rightfully appropriate his labor through the quartermaster and let the title to freedom be tried as soon as a proper civil tribunal can be reached.
If wagon-masters or teamsters carry away in their wagons runaway negroes it is made the duty first of the regimental quartermaster, next of the brigade quartermaster, and last of any commissioned officer, who will cause them to be summarily turned out and the facts reported to headquarters, that the actual offender may be punished by fine and imprisonment as he deserves.
By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:
J. H. HAMMOND,
HDQRS. FIFTH DIVISION, ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,
Numbers 44. La Grange, Tenn., June 18, 1862.
Too much looseness exists on the subject of foraging. The articles of war make it almost a capital offense for an officer or soldier to pillage, which means taking private property for his own use. It makes no difference if that property be of friend or enemy. Pillaging demoralizes the soldier, allows him to straggle from his ranks and neglect his duty, which in many cases heretofore have proved fatal to whole armies. The general can communicate to any officer the history of many such cases.
When an army moves in an enemy's country it is entitled to draw from that country within limits certain articles of forage and provisions, but as it is a delicate right it must be exercised by as few as possible. Brigade quartermasters needing forage will apply to their commanders for suitable escorts tot he wagon train, and will accompany it themselves, and will use possible forbearance, explaining to the party the necessity, and giving a receipt for quantity and price with a promise to pay at the pleasure of the United States on prof of loyalty at the time; certificate not transferable. In meritorious cases the division quartermaster may pay cash. All forage and provisions thus taken must be taken up on the usual property returns, giving the date and name of the party, that the transaction may be traced in the future settlement of accounts. The regimental quartermaster of the cavalry and the acting quartermaster of batteries of artillery may give receipts and instruct the parties to carry them to the division quartermaster, who will give the formal account. No other persons than those above specified can lawfully take or appropriate private property, except contraband of war, arms, ammunition, &c., which it is the duty of the provost-marshal to collect and deliver to the ordnance officer.
[By command of Major General W. T. Sherman:
J. H. HAMMOND,