Doc. 88.-General Willcox's order against secret societies.
Department of the Ohio, Indianapolis, June 30, 1863.the peace of Indiana has lately been disturbed by violence, murder, and other acts contrary to law, and having their origin in certain secret political societies, clubs, or leagues. The common safety now demands that all such associations should be discontinued, no matter to what political party they may belong. They are a constant source of dread and mistrust — they divide and provoke hostility between neighbors, weaken the dignity and power of courts of justice, expose the country to martial law, and discourage the people from enlisting in defence of the nation. No matter how honest or worthy may have been the reason for such societies in the beginning, their very secrecy and the oaths they impose do enable wicked men to use them unto unlawful ends, and pervert them into public nuisances. All good objects can be accomplished openly, and none but the enemies of their country ever need disguises. It is perfectly plain that such secret organizations are both dangerous and beyond the ordinary grasp of the law; they are therefore declared to be hostile, and will be put down by all the military power of the district, if need be. I invoke against such secret societies the good influence and active aid of all men who are friendly to the Union--to discontinue and peaceably break up such organizations within the limits of this district; and call upon the members thereof speedily to withdraw from their dark meetings, and openly show that their intentions and acts are such as may well become the true and loyal citizens of a country whose freedom and integrity they will maintain against all enemies whatsoever, and before the eyes of all the world.