Saturday, July 28, 2012

July 27, 1862

July 27, 1862:  Gen. John Pope’s Orders:  Gen. John Pope has issued orders, on July 10, that the local Virginian populace shall be “held responsible for any injury lone to the track, line, or road, or for any attacks upon trains or straggling soldiers by bands of guerrillas in their neighborhood.”  The usual humane rules of warfare for non-coimbatants do not apply to those who “commit outrages disgraceful to civilized people and revolting to humanity.”  In addition, for any damage done to these the local populace shall be turned out in mass to repair the damage, and shall, beside, pay to the United States in money or in property, to be levied by military force, the full amount of the pay and subsistence of the whole force necessary to coerce the performance of the work during the time occupied in completing it.”  If anyone fires on Union soldiers, the dwellings shall be razed to the ground, and the persons caught “shall be shot, without awaiting civil process.”  Further orders on July 23 stipulate that persons who refuse to take the oath of loyalty to the government will be sent into exile behind Confederate lines and, if found again behind Union lines, will be shot as spies.  Anyone who takes the oath and then engages in sabotage activity will be summarily shot and their property confiscated.  Pope had a habit of concluding dispatches saying that his “headquarters are in the saddle.”  Wits in response said that his headquarters were where his hindquarters ought to be.  This sort of behavior and rhetoric from Pope leads Gen. Lee to label him a “miscreant.”

---Gen. Lee sends the following dispatch to Gen. Stonewall Jackson (whose advance has taken him into central Virginia to thwart Pope) to inform him of substantial reinforcements headed his way, and of the necessity that Pope be “suppressed”:

July 27, 1862.

Commanding Valley District:

GENERAL: I have received your dispatch of 26th instant.* I will send A. P. Hill's division and the Second Brigade of Louisiana Volunteers to you. Stafford's regiment (Ninth Louisiana) need not, therefore, be sent here, as directed in Special orders, Numbers 163. These troops will exceed 18,000 men. Your command ought certainly to number that amount. What has become of them? I heard they were coming
to you from the valley. Do not let your troops run down if it can possibly be avoided by attention to their wants, comforts, &c., by their respective commanders. This will require your personal attention; also consideration and preparation in your movements. I want Pope to be suppressed. The course indicated in his orders, if the newspapers report them correctly, cannot be permitted and will lead to retaliation on our part. You had better notify him the first opportunity. The order of Steinwehr must be disavowed, or you must hold the first captains from his army for retaliation. They will not be exchanged. A. P. Hill you will, I think, find a good officer, with whom you can consult, and by advising with your division commanders as to your movements much trouble will be saved you in arranging details, as they can act more intelligently. I wish to save you trouble from my increasing your command. Cache your troops as much as possible till you can strike your blow, and be prepared to return to me when done, if necessary. I will endeavor to keep General McClellan quiet till it is over, if rapidly executed.
Very respectfully and truly,

R. E. LEE,

---Skirmishes erupt across Missouri on this date, in Carroll, Ray, and Livingston counties.  There is also skirmishing between Federal troops and Confederates and their Cherokee allies near Fort Gibson in what is now Oklahoma.

---Lt. Charles Wright Wills, in the 7th Illinois Infantry regiment, writes in his journal of the hazards of garrison duty while deep in enemy territory:

We’re guarding about 100 miles of railroad from Iuka to Decatur, and it promises to be pretty rough work. Day before yesterday a guerilla party swooped down on a station 24 miles east of here where General Thomas had 160 men and captured all but 20 of them. We are relieving General Thomas’ command from duty here, but the Rebels saved us the trouble of relieving that party. We sent out a force yesterday of three companies and the Rebels surprised and killed and captured 20 of them. I have just heard that there has been a fight eight miles south of here to-day, between our cavalry and the Rebels, no particulars yet. ‘Tis the 3d Michigan that has suffered so far. The 7th Illinois are out now after the party that surprised the Michiganders yesterday, but have not heard of them since they started yesterday p.m.

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