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In Their Own Words

August 20, 1864

Union Order Against Plundering

Eight days after Gen. Hood had issued a similar order to his Confederate troops defending Atlanta, Union Maj. Gen. Schofield issued Special Field Order No. 88 to soldiers and officers of the Army of the Ohio, which provided in part:

“The major-general commanding is pained to find it necessary again to call the attention of the officers and men of this command to the disgraceful practice of marauding and plundering which, in spite of past orders, is still prevalent in the command. All officers and soldiers are strictly forbidden to pass beyond the skirmish line, except by order of a division commander. When foraging parties are sent out they must be sufficiently strong to protect themselves and always in charge of a trustworthy commissioned officer who will be held to a right responsibility for the good conduct of the party. Any soldier found entering the house of a citizen without permission, or taking the property of citizens, or committing any outrage whatever, will be punished with the severest penalty of the law. The attention of all commanding officers of cavalry, as well as infantry, is called to this order. It must be enforced and obeyed.”

Source: U.S. War Department, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (originally printed 1891, reprinted by The National Historical Society, 1971), Part 5, Vol. 38, pp. 620-621.