War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0222 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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fermenting turmoil and disturbing public tranquility by creating or circulating false reports or incendiary documents are warned that they are exposing themselves.

All persons who have been led away from allegiance are required to return to their homes forthwith. Any such absence without sufficient cause will be held to be presumptive evidence against them.

The object of this declaration is to place in the hands of military authorities power to give instantaneous effect to the existing laws and supply such deficiencies as the conditions of the war demand, but it is not intended to suspend the ordinary tribunals of the country where law will be administered by civil officers in the usual manner and with their customary while the same can be peaceably administered.

The commanding general will labor vigilantly for the public welfare and by his efforts for their safety hopes to obtain not only acquiescence but active support of the people of the country.


Major-General, Commanding.



Saint Louis, Mo., August 30, 1861.

The commanding general sincerely regrets that he finds it necessary to make any reproach to the patriotic army under his command. He had hoped that the rigid enforcement of discipline and the good example of the mass of the enlightened soldiery which he has the honor to lead would have been sufficient to correct in good time the irregularities and license of a few who have reflected discredit upon our cause and ourselves. But the extension of martial law to all the State of Missouri rendered suddenly necessary by its unhappy condition renders it equally imperative to call the army to good order and rigorous discipline.

They are reminded that the power to inflict the extraordinary severities of the now governing law is rigidly confined to few who are to be held strictly accountable for its exercise.

They are also reminded that the same necessity which requires the establishment of martial law demands also the enforcement of the military law which governs themselves with the same sudden severity. The commanding general therefore strictly prohibits all vexatious proceedings calculated unnecessarily to harass the citizens and also unauthorized searches, seizures and destruction of property except in cases of military necessity and for which the officer authorizing or permitting it will be held strictly and personally responsible. All officers commanding districts, posts or detachments are enjoined to use the utmost prudence and circumspection in the discharge of their duties. Under the circumstances a strict obedience to orders, close attention to duties and an earnest effort to protect and to avoid harassing innocent persons is requested and expected everywhere from officers and men.

The commanding general trusts that he will find few occasions to reproach the troops. He hopes and believes that he will find many to admire and commend them.

By order of Major-General Fremont:


Assistant Adjutant-General.