Saturday, October 8, 2016

Major-General John A. Dix: General Orders, No. 97, December 14, 1864

Head-quarters, Department of the East, New York City,
December 14,1864.
General Orders, No. 97:

Information having been received at these head-quarters that the rebel raiders who were guilty of murder and robbery at St. Alban's have been discharged from arrest at Montreal, and that other marauding enterprises of a like character are in preparation in Canada, the commanding General deems it due to the people of the frontier towns to adopt the most prompt and efficient measures for the security of their lives and property. All military commanders on the frontiers are therefore instructed, in case farther acts of depredation and murder are attempted, whether by marauders or persons acting under pretended commissions from the rebel authorities at Richmond, to shoot down the perpetrators, if possible, while in the commission of their crimes; or if it be necessary with a view to their capture to cross the boundary between the United States and Canada, said commanders are hereby directed to pursue them wherever they may take refuge; and, in the event of their capture, they are under no circumstances to be surrendered, but are to be sent to these head-quarters for trial and punishment by martial law.

The Major-general commanding the Department will not hesitate to exercise to the fullest extent the authority he possesses under the law of nations in regard to persons organizing hostile expeditions within neutral territory, and fleeing to it for an asylum after committing acts of depredation within our own, such an exercise of authority having become indispensable to protect our cities and towns from incendiarism and our people from robbery and murder.

It is earnestly hoped that the inhabitants of our frontier districts will abstain from all acts of retaliation on account of the outrages committed by rebel marauders, and that the proper measures of redress will be left to the military authorities.

John A. Dix, Major-general.

SOURCE: Morgan Dix, Memoirs of John Adams Dix, Volume 2, p. 112

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