treated as prisoners of war but will be held and punished as criminals. And all persons found guilty of murder, robbery, theft, pillaging and marauding under whatever authority will either be shot or otherwise less severely punished as is prescribed by the Rules and Articles of War or authorized by the usages and customs of war in like cases.
VIII. The law of military retaliation has fixed and well-established rules. While it allows no cruel or barbarous acts on our part in retaliation for like acts of the enemy, it permits any retaliatory measures within the prescribed limits of military usage. If the enemy murders and robs Union men we are not justified in murdering and robbing other persons who are in a legal sense enemies to our Government but we may enforce on them the severest penalties justified by the laws of war for the crimes of their fellow rebels. The rebel forces in the southwestern counties of this State have robbed and plundered the peaceful non-combatant inhabitants, taking from them their clothing and means of subsistence. Men, women and children have alike been stripped and plundered. Thousands of such persons are finding their way to this city bare-footed, half clad and in a destitute and starving condition. Humanity and justice require that these sufferings should be relieved and that the outrages committed upon them should be retaliated upon the enemy. The individuals who have directly caused these sufferings are at present mostly beyond our reach; but there are in this city and in other places within our lines numerous wealthy secessionists who render aid, assistance and encouragement to those who commit these outrages. They do not themselves rob and plunder but they are equally guilty. It is therefore ordered and directed that the provost-marshals immediately inquire into the condition of the persons so driven from their homes and that measures be taken to quarter them in the houses and to feed and clothe them at the expense of avowed secessionists and of those who are found guilty of giving aid, assistance and encouragement to the enemy.
IX. The laws of the United States confiscate the property of any master in a slave used for insurrectionary purposes. Should Congress extend this penalty to the property of all rebels in arms, or giving aid, assistance and encouragement to the enemy such provisions will be strictly enforced. Military officers do not make laws but they should obey and enforce them when made.
X. Where the necessities of service require it the forced labor of citizens, slaves and even prisoners of war may be employed in the construction of military defenses, but no one will be forced to such labor without orders from these headquarters, except in case of siege or attack. All persons so impressed will be fed and quartered at the public expense and an account be taken of their labor to be settled as may be directed by the War Department. All such working parties will be strictly guarded and kept as far as possible from communicating with the command where employed.
XI. These orders may be some be regarded as severe but they are certainly justified by the laws of war and it is believed they are not only right but necessary; it is therefore expected that all loyal citizens in this department will assist the military authorities in strictly enforcing them. There is already a large military force in this State which is daily increasing in numbers and improving in organization and discipline. In a few weeks this force will be able not only to expel or punish all traitors and rebels but also to strike the enemy in his strongholds.