Doc. 100.-Gen. McDowell's General order in reference to depredations.
Headquarters Department of Va., Fairfax Court House, July 18, 1861.General order no. 18. It is with the deepest mortification the General commanding finds it necessary to reiterate his orders for the preservation of the property of the inhabitants of the district occupied by the troops under his command. Hardly had we arrived at this place, when, to the horror of every right-minded person, several houses were broken open, and others were in flames, by the act of some of those, who, it has been the boast of the loyal, came here to protect the oppressed and free the country from the domination of a hated party. The property of this people is at the mercy of the troops who, we rightly say, are the most intelligent, best-educated, and most law-abiding of any that were ever under arms. But do not therefore the acts of yesterday cast the deeper stain upon them? It has been claimed by some that their particular corps were not engaged in these acts. This is of but little moment: since the individuals are not found out, we are all alike disgraced. Commanders of regiments will select a commissioned officer as a provost-marshal, and ten men as a police force under him, whose special and sole duty it shall be to preserve the property from depredations, and to arrest all wrong-doers of whatever regiment or corps they may be. Any persons found committing the slightest depredation, killing pigs or poultry, or trespassing on the property of the inhabitants,will be reported to Headquarters, and the least that will be done to them will be to send them to the Alexandria jail. It is again ordered that no one shall arrest or attempt to arrest any citizen not in arms at the time, or search or attempt to search any house, or even to enter the same without permission. The troops must behave themselves with as much forbearance and propriety as if they were at their own homes. They are here to fight the enemies of the country, not to judge and punish the unarmed and defenseless, however guilty they may be. When necessary, that will be done by the proper person. By command of Gen. Mcdowell,
Jas. B. Fry, Assistant Adjutant-General.