War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0360 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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Reliable information having been received by me that there is at present a very considerable number of deserters and stragglers from the military service of the Confederate States within the limits of this State, who, after having volunteered and entered the service, have ingloriously abandoned their country's flag and their brave comrades in arms; and it being represented that numbers of these deserters, encouraged by disloyal citizens in the mountains of Northeastern Georgia, have associated themselves together with arms in their lands and are now in rebellion against the authority of this State and the Confederate States, robbing loyal citizens of their property and threatening to burn their dwellings and do other acts of violence; and it being my determination, while I do all in my power as the Executive of the State to maintain her rights and her sovereignty in the Confederacy as well in times of revolution as in times of peace, to exercise all the power and authority vested in me to cause the government and people of the State to do their whole duty to the Confederacy, and to the people of the sovereign States of which it is composed, and not only to respond in future, as I have in every instance promptly done in the past, to every call made upon this State for even more than her just quota of men and means to carry on the war till our independence is fully established, but to compel all who have deserted and sought refuge within this State, whether they be Georgians or not, to return to the discharge of duty:

I therefore issued this, my proclamation, commanding all persons, as well officers as privates, within the limits of this State, who have been actually engaged in the military service of the Confederate States, and who have deserted or are otherwise absent from the respective commands to which they belong without legal furlough or order from the officers having the right to command them, or who have overstayed the time allowed them, without providential hindrance, to return to their respective commands immediately after the publication of this notice; and I invoke the pardon of the Confederate authorities for all such who return to their duty within twenty days, but ask that the penalties of the law be vigorously inflicted upon all who refuse so to do; and I call upon the good people of this State to bring to bear the powerful influence of a just public opinion in condemnation of all deserters and stragglers, no matter what may be their position, wealth, or influence. And I also hereby command and command if necessary, and all sheriffs and constables, with all persons subject to their commands, to be vigilant and active in arresting all persons who may be found within their respective jurisdictions who belong to any military organization in the service of the Confederate States, who cannot show that they have the legal authority or order of their commanding officers to justify such absence; and to deliver such persons when arrested to any officer commanding any company or regiment in the military service of this State. And I also direct each and every officer in command of either of the two regiments now being formed for State service, or of any company of which they are comprised, to arrest all such persons, using all the force necessary for that purpose; and to receive into their custody all such when tendered by any militia officer or sheriff or constable of this State, and to send all such deserters or stragglers under a sufficient guard to General