Resolved by the Congress of the Confederate States of America in response to message of the President transmitted to Congress at the commencement of the present session, That in the opinion of Congress the commissioned officers of the enemy ought not to be delivered to the authorities of the respective States as suggested in the said message, but all captives taken by the Confederate forces ought to be dealt with and disposed of by the Confederate Government.
2. That in the judgment of Congress the proclamations of the President of the United States dated respectively September 22, 1862, and January 1, 1863, and the other measures of the Government of the United States and of its authorities, commanders and forces designed or tending to emancipate slaves in the Confederate States or to abduct such slaves or to incite them to insurrection, or to employ negroes in war against the Confederate States or to overthrow the institution of African slavery and bring on a servile war in these States would if successful produce atrocious consequences, and they are inconsistent with the spirit of those usages which in modern warfare prevail among civilized nations; they may therefore be properly and lawfully repressed by retaliation.
3. That in every case wherein during the present war any violation of the laws or usages of war among civilized nations shall be or has been done and perpetrated by those acting under the authority of the Government of the United States on the persons or property of citizens of the Confederate States or of those under the protection or in the land or naval service of the Confederate States or of any State of the Confederacy the President of the Confederate States is hereby authorized to cause full and ample retaliation to be made for every such violation, in such manner and to such extent as he may think proper.
4. That every white person being a commissioned officer or acting as such who during the present war shall command negroes or mulattoes in arms against the Confederate States or who shall arm, train, organize or prepare negroes or mulattoes for military service against the Confederate States or who shall voluntarily aid negroes or mulattoes in any military enterprise, attack or conflict in such service shall be deemed as inciting servile insurrection, and shall if captured be put to death or be otherwise punished at the discretion of the court.
5. Every person being a commissioned officer or acting as such in the service of the enemy who shall during the present war excite or attempt to excite or cause to be excited a servile insurrection or who shall incite or cause to be incited a slave to rebel shall if captured be put to death or be otherwise punished at the discretion of the court.
6. Every person charged with an offense punishable under the preceding resolution shall during the present war be tried before the military court attached to the army or corps by the troops of which he shall have been captured or by such other military court as the President may direct and in such manner and under such regulations as the President shall prescribe; and after conviction the President may commute the punishment in such manner and on such terms as he may deem proper.
7. All negroes and mulattoes who shall be engaged in war or be taken in arms against the Confederate States or shall give aid or comfort to the enemies of the Confederate States shall when captured in the Confederate States be delivered to the authorities of the State or States in which they shall be captured to be dealt with according to the present or future law of such State or States.
TH. S. BOCOCK,
Speaker of the House of Representatives.
ALEXANDER H. STEPHENS,
President of the Senate.
Approved May 1, 1863.
SOURCES: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series II, Volume 5 (Serial No. 118), p. 940-1; Journal of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, 1861-1865, Volume 6, 486-7.