Did Pope’s orders go too far… even further than he imagined?

Posted on August 14, 2012 by

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 19.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF VIRGINIA,
Near Cedar Mountain, Va., August 14, 1862.

The major-general commanding discovers with great dissatisfaction that General Orders, No. 5, requiring that the troops of this command be subsisted on the country in which their operations are conducted, has either been entirely misinterpreted or grossly abused by many of the officers and soldiers of this command. It is to be distinctly under stood that neither officer nor soldier has any right whatever, under the provisions of that order, to enter the house, molest the persons, or disturb the property of any citizen whatsoever.

Whenever it is necessary or convenient for the subsistence of the troops, provisions, forage, and such other articles as may be required will be taken possession of and used, but every seizure must be made solely by the order of the commanding officer of the troops then present and by the officer of the department through which the issues are made. Any officer or soldier who shall be found to have entered the house or molested the property of any citizen will be severely punished. Such acts of pillage and outrage are disgraceful to the army, and have neither been contemplated nor authorized by any orders whatsoever; the perpetrators of them, whether officers or soldiers, will be visited with a punishment which they will have reason to remember; and any officer or soldier absent from the limits of his camp found in any house whatever, without a written pass from his division or brigade commander, will be considered a pillager and treated accordingly. Army corps commanders will immediately establish mounted patrols, under charge of commissioned officers, which shall scour the whole country for 5 miles around their camps at least once every day, and at different hours, to bring into their respective commands all persons absent without proper authority, or who are engaged in any interruption of citizens living in the country; and commanding officers of regiments, or smaller separate commands, will be held responsible that neither officers nor men shall be absent from camp without proper authority.

By command of Major-General Pope:
R. O. SELFRIDGE,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

* We didn’t plan it this way… really!… but, Craig offers further thoughts about this in his blog post today

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