Saturday, July 22, 2017

Major-General William S. Rosecrans’ General Orders No. 92, July 14, 1862


July 14, 1862.

For the information of all in this command the following explanations are given in reference to the rights and duties of citizens of the States in which we may be stationed:

1. All citizens of the States claiming the rights and holding themselves bound to the duties of citizens of the United States are entitled to the same protection of person and property which we claim for ourselves.

2. We hold citizens to the performance of active duties only when they receive protection. If left without protection they are only bound to good will and abstinence from acts of hostility to the Government.

3. Persons denying that they are citizens of the United States, repudiating the duties of citizens by words or actions, are entitled to no rights save those which the laws of war and humanity accord to their characters. If they claim to belong to a hostile Government they have the rights of belligerents and can neither justly claim nor have anything more from this army. If they are found making war without lawful organization or commission they are enemies of mankind and have the rights due to pirates and robbers, which it will be a duty to accord them. It is not our purpose to admit the slaves of loyal masters within our lines or use them without compensation, or prevent their recovery when consistent with the interests of the service. The slaves of our enemies may come or go wherever they please, provided they do not interfere with the rules and orders of camp discipline. They deserve more at our hands than their masters.

By order of General Rosecrans:
 Brigadier-General and Chief of Staff.

SOURCE: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series II, Volume 3 (Serial No. 117), p. 211; Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 113-4

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