Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 29.djvu/117

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Report of History Committee of Gram/ Camp C. V. 101

the South are as true to it, and will do as much to uphold its honor and defend its rights, as those of any other section. But we are also true to a sacred past, a past which had principles for which thou- sands of our comrades suffered and died, and which are living prin- ciples to-day principles which we fought to maintain, and for which our whole people, almost without exception, willingly and heroically offered their lives, their blood and their fortunes; and whilst we do not propose to live in that past, we do propose that the principles of that past shall live in us, and that we will transmit these principles to our children and their descendants to the latest generations yet unborn. We believe that only by doing this can we and they make good citizens of the republic, as founded by our fathers, and that not to do this would be false to the memory of our dead and to our- selves.

Then let us enquire, first: What were the rules adopted by the Federals for the government of their armies in war ? The most im- portant of these are as follows:

(1) "Private property, unless forfeited by crimes, or by offences of the owner against the safety of the army, or the dignity of the United States, and after conviction of the owner by court-martial, can be seized only by way of military necessity for the support or other benefit of the army of the United States.

(2) * ' All wanton violence committed against persons in the in- vaded country; all destruction of property not commanded by the authorized officer; all robbery; all pillage or sacking, even after taking place by main force; all rape, wounding, maiming, or killing of such inhabitants, are prohibited under penalty of death, or such other severe punishment as may seem adequate for the gravity of the offence.

(3) "Crimes punishable by all penal codes, such as arson, mur- der, maiming, assaults, highway robbery, theft, burglary, fraud, forgery and rape, if committed by an American soldier in a hostile country against its inhabitants, are not only punishable, as at home, but in all cases in which death is not inflicted, the severer punish- ment shall be preferred, because the criminal has, as far as in him lay, prostituted the power conferred on a man of arms, and prosti- tuted the dignity of the United States."

Now, as we have said, these were the important provisions adopted by the Federals for the government of their armies in war.