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[264]
This rebellion has assumed the character of a war; as such it should be regarded, and it should be conducted upon the highest principles known to Christian civilization. It should not be a war looking to the subjugation of the people of any State, in any event. It should not be at all a war upon population, but against armed forces and political organizations. Neither confiscation of property, political executions of persons, territorial organizations of States, or forcible abolition of slavery, should be contemplated for a moment.

In prosecuting the war, all private property and unarmed persons should be strictly protected, subject only to the necessity of military operations; all private property taken for military use should be paid or receipted for; pillage and waste should be treated as high crimes; all unnecessary trespass sternly prohibited, and offensive demeanor by the military toward citizens promptly rebuked. Military arrests should not be tolerated, except in places where active hostilities exist; and oaths, not required by enactments constitutionally, should be neither demanded nor received.

Had these views been accepted, and the conduct of the government of the United States been in accordance with them, the most shameful chapters in American history could not have been written, and some of the more respectable newspapers of the North would not have had the apprehensions they expressed of the evils which would befall the country when an army habituated to thieving should be disbanded.

On the reception of copies of the orders issued by General Pope, inserted above, I addressed to General Lee, commanding our army in Virginia, the following letter:

Richmond, Virginia, July 31, 1862.
Sir: On the 22d of this month a cartel for a general exchange of prisoners of war was signed between Major-General D. H. Hill, in behalf of the Confederate States, and Major-General John A. Dix, in behalf of the United States.

By the terms of that cartel, it is stipulated that all prisoners of war hereafter taken shall be discharged on parole until exchanged.

Scarcely had that cartel been signed, when the military authorities of the United States commenced a practice changing the character of the war, from such as becomes civilized nations, into a campaign of indiscriminate robbery and murder.

The general order issued by the Secretary of War of the United States, in the city of Washington, on the very day that the cartel was signed in Virginia, directs the military commanders of the United States to take the private property of our people for the convenience and use of their armies, without compensation.

The general order issued by Major-General Pope, on the 23d of July, the day after the signing of the cartel, directs the murder of our peaceful inhabitants as spies, if found quietly tilling their farms in his rear, even outside of his lines; and one of his brigadier-generals, Steinwehr, has seized upon innocent and peaceful inhabitants, to be held as hostages, to the end that they may be murdered in cold blood if any of his soldiers are killed by some unknown persons, whom he designates as “bushwhackers.”

Under this state of facts, this Government has issued the inclosed general


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