Saturday, August 1, 1863

General Grant sent these orders:

GENERAL ORDERS, HEADQUARTERS, DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE, Number 50.
Vicksburg, MISSISSIPPI, August 1, 1863

I. All regularly organized bodies of the enemy having been driven from those parts of Kentucky and Tennessee WEST of the Tennessee River, and from all of Mississippi WEST of the Mississippi Central Railroad, and it being to the interest of those districts not to invite the presence of armed bodies of men among them, it is announced that the most rigorous penalties will hereafter be inflicted upon the following classes of prisoners, to wit: All irregular bodies of cavalry not mustered and paid by the Confederate authorities; all persons engaged in conscripting, enforcing the conscription, or in apprehending deserters, whether regular or irregular; all citizens encouraging or aiding the same; and all persons detected in firing upon unarmed transports.

It is not contemplated that this order shall affect the treatment due to prisoners of war, captured within the districts named, when they are members of legally organized companies, and when their acts are in accordance with the usages of civilized warfare.

II. The citizens of Mississippi within the limits above described are called upon to pursue their peaceful avocations, in obedience to the laws of the United States. Whilst doing so in good faith, all United States forces are prohibited from molesting them in any way. It is earnestly recommended that the freedom of negroes be acknowledged, and that, instead of compulsory labor, contracts upon fair terms be entered into between the former master and servants, or between the latter and such other persons as may be willing to give them employment. Such a system as this, honestly followed, will result in substantial advantages to all parties.

All private property will be respected except when the use of it is necessary for the Government, in which case it must be taken under the direction of a corps commander, and by a proper detail under charge of a commissioned officer, with specific instructions to seize certain property and no other. A staff officer of the quartermaster’s or subsisteill in each instance be designated to receipt for such property as may be seized, the property to be paid for at the end of the war, on proof of loyalty, or on proper adjustment of the claim, under such regulations or laws as may hereafter be established. All property seized under this order must be taken up on returns by the officer giving receipts, and disposed of in accordance with existing regulations.

III. Persons having cotton or other produce not required by the army, will be allowed to bring the same to any military post within the State of Mississippi, and abandon it to the agent of the Treasury Department at said post, to be disposed of in accordance with such regulations as the secretary of the Treasury may establish. At posts where there is no such agent the post quartermaster will receive all such property, and, at the option of the owner, hold it till the arrival of the agent, or send it to Memphis, directed to Captain A. R. Eddy, assistant quartermaster, who will turn it over to the properly authorized agent at that place.

IV. Within the county of Warren, laid waste by the long presence of contending armies, the following rules to prevent suffering will be observed:
Major-General Sherman, commanding the Fifteenth Army Corps, and Major-General McPherson, commanding the SEVENTEENTH army Corps, will each designate a commissary of subsistence, who will issue articles of prime necessity to all destitute families calling for them, under such restrictions for the protection of the Government as they may deem necessary. Families who are able to pay for the provisions drawn will in all cases be required to do so.

V. Conduct disgraceful to the American name has been frequently reported to the major-general commanding, particularly on the part of portions of the cavalry. Hereafter, if the guilty parties cannot be reached, the commanders of regiments and detachments will be held responsible, and those who prove themselves unequal to the task of preserving discipline in their commands will be promptly reported to the War Department for muster-out. Summary punishment must be inflicted upon all officers and soldiers apprehended in acts of violence or lawlessness.

By order of Major General U. S. Grant:
T.S. BOWERS, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General

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