War of the Rebellion: Serial 040 Page 0146 N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXVII.

Search Civil War Official Records

4. An officer who gives a parole for himself or his command on the battle-field is deemed a deserter and will be punished accordingly.

5. For the officer the pledging of his parole is an individual act, and no wholesale paroling by an officer for a number of inferiors in rank is permitted or valid.

6. No non-commissioned officer or private can give his parole except through an officer. Individual paroles not given through an officer are not only void, but subject the individual giving them to the punishment of death as deserters. The only admissible exception is where individual, properly separated from their commands, have suffered long confinement without the possibility of being paroled through an officer.

7. No prisoners of war can be forced by the hostile Government to pledge his parole, and any threat or ill-treatment to force the giving of the parole is contrary to the law of war.

8. No prisoner of war can enter into engagements inconsistent with his character and duties as a citizen and a subject of his State. He can only bind himself not to bear arms against his captor for a limited period or until he is exchanged, and this only with the stipulated or implied consent of his own Government. If the engagement which he makes is not approved by his Government, he is bound to return and surrender himself as a prisoner of war. His own Government cannot at the same time disown his engagement and refuse his return as a prisoner.

9. No one can pledge his parole that he will never bear arms against the Government of his captors nor that he will not bear arms against any other enemy of his Government not at the time the ally of his captors. Such agreements have reference only to the existing enemy and his existing allies and to the existing war, and not to future belligerents.

10. While the pledging of the military parole is a voluntary act of the individual, the capturing power is not obliged to grant it, nor is the Government of the individual paroled bound to approve or ratify it.

11. Paroles not authorized by the common law of war are not valid until approved by the Government of the individual so pledging his parole.

12. The pledging of any unauthorized military parole is a military offense, punishable under the common law of war.

II. This order will be published at the head of every regiment in the service of the United States and will be officially communicated by every general commanding an army in the field to the commanding general of the opposing forces, and will be hereafter strictly observed and enforced in the armies of the United States.

By order of Major General H. W. Halleck:





Numbers 125.

Washington, March 17, 1863.

I. Brigadier General Julius Stahel, U. S. Volunteers, now serving with the Army of the Potomac, is assigned to duty with the command of Major-General Heintzelman, and will report accordingly.

* * * * * * *

By command of Major-General Halleck: