War of the Rebellion: Serial 030 Page 0122 KY., MID., AND E. TENN.,N.ALA.,AND SW. VA. Chapter XXXII.

Search Civil War Official Records

than the one you represent, it would take a wagon to carry the communications on the subject. I have always and everywhere expressed my abhorrence of the system of harassing and arresting non-combatants, who are strictly so. My sentiments are known not only to the troops under my command, but to all officers of your command with whom I have had the pleasure of conversing. I never authorize or permit the arrest of such persons unless there is a prima facie case of a forfeiture of their claims to non-combatants by acts bearing the character of military mischief. I requested an expression of the same sentiments from the Confederate officers in Mississippi, but had not the pleasure of receiving it. I believe I may anticipate an expression of entire disapprobation of the system from you,and hope that you will forbid the system of terrorism and abuse by your troops of those peaceful people, who are supposed by them not to sympathize with your cause. Pillage and wanton destruction of private property is strictly prohibited and vigorously punished whenever detected. The burning of houses is only justified when they have been used as little fortifications. As to complaint Numbers 4., I think it so improbable as to deserve no comment.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. S. ROSECRANS,

Major-General, Commanding.

GENERAL ORDERS,

HDQRS. FOURTEENTH ARMY CORPS,

DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,

Numbers 31.

Nashville, Tenn., December 4, 1862

The general commanding has received several applications from Kentuckians, who have abandoned the rebel armies, for permission to return to their homes: and he is informed that large numbers of others would make the same request of him, did they dare hope for a favorable reply. Under these circumstances the general feels called upon to define his views with relation to all this class of men, and to say what he is prepared to do in such cases.

This war is waged for the preservation of the Union of our fathers. To preserve that Union the rebellious States must be coerced into submission. This is the one great end we have in view, and this end must and shall be attained, without passion, from a sense of duty, and, trusting in the God who abhors pride and all injustice, we press onward to that end.

That the people of the South have been deluded by ambitious demagogues, deceived by lying misrepresents, carried away, some by natural sympathies, others by an irresistible current of circumstances; that many have even been forced into a participation in the rebellion, we well know. We both know and deplore the cruel necessities of the situation made for them by their rulers. We abhor the grinding despotism which was devoured their substance, depopulated their valleys, converted neighborhoods into haunts of banditti, and substituted a reign of oppression and terror for the mild Government under which both, but two short years ago, were so happily living. We pity them; we have pitied them every while duty compelled us to unsheathe the sword against them; and though,so long as they confront us in arms, our swords shall never be returned to their scabbards, we yet will gladly hail the day when this desolating and unnatural war shall cease.

For this reason the general commanding is disposed to hold out every