War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0164 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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the rebellion without positively aiding it, and those who, without taking up arms, give positive aid and comfort to the rebellious enemy without being bodily forced thereto.

156. Common justice and plain expediency require that the miliary commander protect the manifestly loyal citizens in revolted territories against the hardships of the war as much as the common misfortune of all war admits.

The command will throw the burden of the war, as much as lies within his power, on the disloyal citizens, of revolted portion or province, subjecting them to a stricter police than the non-combatant enemies have to suffer in regular war; and if he deems it appropriate, or if his government demands of him that every citizens shall, by an oath of allegiance, or by some other manifest act, declare his fidelity to the legitimate government, he may expel, transfer, imprison, or fine the legitimate government, he may expel, transfer, imprison, or fine the revolted citizens who refuse to pledge themselves anew as citizens obedient to the law and loyal to the government.

Whether it is expedient to do so, and whether reliance can be placed upon such oaths, the commander or his government have the right to decide.

157. Armed or unarmed resistance by citizens of the United States against the lawful movements of their troops is levying war against the United States, and is therefore treason.

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington City, April 24, 1863.

Major General A. E. BURNSIDE,

Commanding Department of the Ohio, Cincinnati:

Your dispatch in relation to the organization of a new corps has been received and directions given to issue the order immediately according to your request.

EDWIN M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.

HEADQUARTERS FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Camp before Vicksburg, April 24, 1863.

General L. THOMAS,

Adjutant-General U. S. Army, Milliken's Bend:

SIR: If my judgment do not err, you have the power to save this army from a disintegration more fatal than defeat.

General Orders, Numbers 86, of this year, from the War Department, if literally enforced, will do more to destroy this army than any single act of war.

You will pardon so strong an expression, when I illustrate my meaning, and if I am in error, shall rejoice to know it.

The authority to consolidate reduced regiments was conferred on the President by section 19 of the act approved March 3, 1863, but was discretionary, admitting of general and exceptional application.

That act of Congress known as the "conscript bill," though containing many other provisions, was chiefly designed to organize the entire available military strength of the nation, and provide for its being called out to the assistance of the armies now in the field.