War of the Rebellion: Serial 033 Page 0237 Chapter XXXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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without delay, to Major-General Curtis, commanding Department of the Missouri, for duty.

* * * *

By order of the Secretary of War:


Assistant Adjutant-General.



Numbers 30.

Saint Louis, Mo., April 22, 1863.

To warn the public of the severe penalties which will follow news transgressions in this department, and for the convenience of district commanders, judge-advocates, and military courts, the following laws of war and general instructions are prescribed. Judge-advocates will be governed accordingly in drawing their charges, and military courts in their findings, throughout this department:

I. THE SPY.-Some questions having arisen where authorities cannot be conveniently referred to as to what constitutes a spy, attention is invited to the following:

Spies are persons who, in disguise, or under false pretenses, insinuate themselves among the enemy, in order to discover the state of his affairs, to pry into his designs, and then communicate to their employer the information thus obtained. * * * The term spy is frequently applied to persons sent to reconnoiter an enemy's position, his forces, defenses, &c., but not in disguise, or under false pretenses. Such, however, are to spies in the sense in which that term is used in military and international law; nor are persons so employed liable to any more rigorous treatment than ordinary prisoners of war. It is the disguise of false pretense which constitutes the perfidy and forms the essential elements of the crime, which, by the laws of war, is punishable with an ignominious detach. (Halleck, International Law, chap. 16, sec. 26.)

It may be added here that a person proved to be a regular soldier of the enemy's army, found in citizen's dress (disguise), within the lines of the captor, is universally dealt with as a spy. (Lieber.)

If he (in the service of the enemy) comes in disguise or under false pretenses, for the purpose of obtaining military information, he is a spay. If in the service of the enemy, and he comes in disguise, the law presumes him to be a spy. (Letter of instructions from Major-General Halleck, General-in-Chief.)


A person dwelling in a district under military occupation and giving information to the enemy is universally treated as a spy-a spy of a peculiarly dangerous character. * * * Even mere secret correspondence may have been innocent, has subjected the correspondent to serious consequences, and sometimes to the rigor of martial law, especially if the offense be committed after a proclamation to the contrary. * * * The spy becomes in this case peculiarly dangerous, making hostile use of the protection which, by the modern law of war, the victor extends to the persons and property of the conquered.

By the Fifty-seventh Article of War, whosoever shall be convicted of holding correspondence with, or giving intelligence to, the enemy, either directly or indirectly, shall suffer death, or such other punishment as shall be ordered by the sentence of a court-martial.

Persons engaged in carrying such correspondence will be held liable to the same punishment as the correspondence themselves.

III. GUERRILLA.-Under the general term of guerrilla will be more particularly considered:

1st. Military Insurgents or War Rebels.-The war rebel is defined by Lieber as follows:

Similar remarks [referring to those given under the preceding head] apply to the rebel, taking the word in the primitive meaning of rebels are, that is, to return to war after having been conquered, and to conspiracies, that is, agreements leading