Doc. 61.-General Halleck's order.
headquarters Department of Missouri, St. Louis, February 23, 1862.The Major-General commanding this Department desires to impress upon all officers the importance of preserving good order and discipline among their troops. As the armies of the West advance into Tennessee and the Southern States, let us show to our fellow-citizens of these States that we come merely to crush out the rebellion, and restore to them the peace and benefits of the Constitution and the Union, of which they have been deprived by selfish and unprincipled leaders. They have been told that we came to oppress and plunder. By our acts we will undeceive. We will prove to them that we come to restore, not to violate the Constitution and the laws. In restoring to them the glorious flag of the Union, we will assure them that they shall enjoy under its folds the same protection of life and property as in former days. Soldiers, let no excess on your part tarnish the glory of our arms. The orders heretofore issued from this department, in regard to pillaging, marauding, and the destruction of private property and stealing, and the concealment of slaves, must be strictly enforced. It does not belong to the military to decide upon the relation of master and slave. Such questions must be settled by the civil courts. No fugitive slaves will, therefore, be admitted within our lines or camps, except when specially ordered by the General commanding. Women and children, merchants, farmers, mechanics, and all persons not in arms, are regarded as non-combatants, and are not to be molested either in their person or property. If, however, they assist and aid the enemy, they become belligerents, and will be treated as such. As they violate the laws of war, they will be made to suffer the penalties of such violation. Military stores and public property of the enemy must be surrendered, and an attempt to conceal such property by fraudulent transfer or otherwise, will be punished, but no private property will be touched unless by order of the General commanding. Wherever it becomes necessary, forced contributions for supplies and subsistence for our troops will be made. Such levies will be made as light as possible, and be so distributed as to produce no distress among the people. All property so taken must be receipted for fully, and accounted for as heretofore directed. These orders will be read at the head of every regiment, and all officers are commanded to strictly enforce them. By command of Major-Gen. Halleck.
N. H. Mclean, A. G.