War of the Rebellion: Serial 114 Page 0882 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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Knoxville, April 18, 1862.

The major-general commanding this department charged with the enforcement of martial law believing that many of its citizens have been misled into the commission of treasonable acts through ignorance of their duties and obligations to their State and that many have actually fled across the mountains and joined our enemies under the persuasion and misguidance of supposed friends but designing enemies hereby proclaims:

First. That no person so misled who comes forward, declares his error and takes the oath to support the constitution of the State and of the Confederate States shall be molested or punished on account of past acts or words.

Second. That no person so persuaded and misguided as to leave his home and join the enemy who shall return within thirty days of the date of this proclamation, acknowledge his error and take an oath to support the constitution of the State and of the Confederate States shall be molested or punished on account of past acts or words.

After thus announcing his disposition to treat with the utmost clemency those who have been led away from the true path of patriotic duty the major-general commanding furthermore declares his determination henceforth to employ all the elements at his disposal for the protection of the lives and property of the citizens of East Tennessee whether from the incursions of the enemy or the irregularities of his own troops and for the suppression of all treasonable practices.

He assures all citizens in cultivating their farms that he will protect them in their rights and that he will suspend the militia draft under the State laws that they may raise crops for consumption in the coming year. He invokes the zealous co-operation of the authorities and of all good people to aid him in his endeavors.

The courts of criminal jurisdiction will continue to exercise their functions save the issuing of writs of habeas corpus. Their writs will be served and their decrees executed by the aid of the military when necessary. When the courts fail to preserve the peace or punish offenders against the laws these objects will be attained through the action of military tribunals and the exercise of the force of his command.


Major-General, Commanding Department of East Tennessee.


April 19, 1862.

Brigadier General S. P. CARTER [U. S. Army],

Commanding Twenty-fourth Brigade, Cumberland Ford.

GENERAL: In acknowledging the receipt of your communication* of the 16th instant let me assure you that nowhere within the limits of this department will any violation of the rules of civilized warfare meet with my sanction. David Fry was captured within our lines in citizen's dress and was sent to Knoxville charged as a citizen of East Tennessee with bridge-burning. He has as yet laid no claim to being a prisoner of war nor has he announced himself as an officer in the U. S. service. His presence within our lines in citizen's dress and engaged


* Not found.