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Doc. 34.-proclamation of Gen. McClellan.

Headquarters, Department of the Ohio, Grafton, (Va.,) June 23, 1861.
To the Inhabitants of Western Virginia:
The army of this department, headed by Virginia troops, is rapidly occupying all Western Virginia. This is done in cooperation with and in support of such civil authorities of the State as are faithful to the Constitution and laws of the United States. The proclamation issued by me, under date of May 26th, 1861, will be strictly maintained. Your houses, families, property, and all your rights will be religiously respected. We are enemies to none but armed rebels, and those voluntarily giving them aid. All officers of this army will be held responsible for the most prompt and vigorous action in repressing disorder and punishing aggression by those under their command.

To my great regret I find that the enemies of the United States continue to carry on a system of hostilities prohibited by the laws of war among belligerent nations, and of course far more wicked and intolerable when directed against loyal citizens engaged in the defence of [167] the common Government of all. Individuals and marauding parties are pursuing a guerilla warfare, firing upon sentinels and pickets, burning bridges, insulting and even killing citizens because of their Union sentiments, and committing many kindred acts.

I do now, therefore, make proclamation, and warn all persons that individuals or parties engaged in this species of warfare, irregular in every view that can be taken of it, thus attacking sentries, pickets, or other soldiers, destroying public or private property, or committing injuries against any of the inhabitants because of Union sentiments or conduct, will be dealt with in their persons and property according to the severest rules of military law.

All persons giving information or aid to the public enemies Will be arrested and kept in close custody; and all persons found bearing arms, unless of known loyalty, will be arrested and held for examination.

Geo. B. Mcclellan, Major-General, U. S. A., Commanding Department.


Another proclamation.

To the Soldiers of the Army of the West:
You are here to support the Government of your country, and to protect the lives and liberties of your brethren, threatened by a rebellious and traitorous foe. No higher or nobler duty could devolve on you, and I expect you to bring to its performance the highest and noblest qualities of soldiers' discipline, courage, and mercy.

I call upon the officers of every grade to enforce the highest discipline, and I know that those of all grades, privates and officers, will display in battle cool heroic courage, and will know how to show mercy to a disarmed enemy. Bear in mind that you are in the country of friends, not of enemies — that you are here to protect, not to destroy. Take nothing, destroy nothing, unless you are ordered to do so by your general officers. Remember that I have pledged my word to the people of Western Virginia that their rights in person and property shall be respected. I ask every one of you to make good this promise in its broadest sense.

We have come here to save, not to upturn. I do not appeal to the fear of punishment, but to your appreciation of the sacredness of the cause in which we are engaged. Carry into battle the conviction that you are right and that God is on our side. Your enemies have violated every moral law; neither God nor man can sustain them. They have without cause rebelled against a mild and paternal Government; they have seized upon public and private property; they have outraged the persons of Northern men, merely because they came from the North, and of Southern Union men, merely because they loved the Union; they have placed themselves beneath contempt unless they can retrieve some honor on the field of battle.

You will pursue a different course; you will be honest, brave, and merciful; you will respect the right of private opinion; you will punish no man for opinion's sake. Show to the world that you differ from our enemies in these points of honor, honesty, and respect for private opinion, and that we inaugurate no reign of terror wherever we go.

Soldiers, I have heard that there was danger here. I have come to place myself at your head and share it with you. I fear now but one thing, that you will not find foemen worthy of your steel. I know that I can rely upon you.

Geo. B. Mcclellan, Major-General commanding.

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