784[Fwd: MIL: General McClellan's Order Against Straggling (Antietam #6)]
- Aug 11, 2002
> LOUISVILLE DAILY JOURNAL, September 20, 1862.
> HEADQUARTERS, ARMY OF KENTUCKY,
> LOUISVILLE, SEPT. 19, 1862.
> _General Order, no. 14_
> The following general order of Major-General McClellan is published for
> the instruction of the Army of Kentucky. It will be strictly enforced.
> By command of Major-General Nelson.
> J. E. STACEY, A. A. A. G.
> - - - - - - - - -
> GENERAL MCCLELLAN'S ORDER AGAINST STRAGGLING.
> HEADQUARTERS, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC.
> CAMP NEAR ROCKVILLE, MD., SEPT 9, 1862.
> _General Orders, No. 155._
> The mischievous practice of straggling, it is observed, is again
> instituted in this army, and this, in many cases, without the least apparent
> concern on the part of officers of either the higher or lower grades.
> Straggling is habitually associated with cowardice, marauding, and theft.
> The straggler must now be taught to learn that he leaves the ranks without
> authority, and skulks at the severest risk, even to that of death.
> Commanders of regiments will see that the rolls of every company are
> called before the regiment starts on the march, at every halt, and at the
> close of the march. The absentees at these roll calls will be reported to
> the Regimental Adjutant. Regimental Adjutants will retain lists of
> absentees thus reported to them, and, if, upon the straggler joining his
> company, he have not a good excuse for his absence, the word "straggled" and
> the date and time absent will be set against the soldier's name on the next
> muster roll. The judges of the validity of this excuse will be the three
> senior officers of the regiment in session together. Loss of pay for the
> time absent, as a matter of course, follows this entry, but Colonels of
> regiments will see that stragglers are besides brought to punishment. Field
> officers have now by law all the power that a regimental court martial had
> for the punishment of offenders. In the absence of a field officer, an
> acting field officer may exercise these powers. If the proffered excuse
> exhibit laxity or neglect of duty on the part of company commanders, their
> names will be reported for dismissal, or they may be brought to trial.
> On the march, corps commanders should allow rest at proper intervals,
> that the troops may have an opportunity to adjust their equipments, obey the
> calls of nature, etc., etc. Except at these rests, no man should be allowed
> to leave the ranks, save for some extraordinary cause, when the company
> commander will give the soldier a written ticket of permission to leave the
> ranks; these tickets should be prepared in blank beforehand. Every soldier
> thus leaving the ranks will leave his musket, haversack, and knapsack with
> the company, which the Captain will have carried by the soldiers of the
> company till the soldier returns. If the soldier be sick and fall out, his
> sickness will be no plea in his favor for escape from the penalties of
> straggling, unless furnished with a written certificate of his sickness from
> the Surgeon of the regiment. Sick men should, in all cases, be properly
> taken charge of by the medical officers of the regiment, that they may not
> be accused of straggling if really sick or wounded.
> Each division should have a strong rear guard, behind which no
> straggler, of whatever corps or regiment, should be permitted to remain,
> unless the straggler's company is to the rear. If the divisions have any
> cavalry with them, it will scout the country on the flanks, if not, then
> infantry flankers of the rear guard must perform that office. The bayonet
> must be used to force obedience to these orders.
> The Inspector-General of corps should be specially active to see that
> these instructions are executed.
> Provost Marshals will send cavalry, when they have it, on all roads to
> their rear to hurry up stragglers. No straggler should be permitted to halt
> until he has joined his proper regiment.
> On all forks of roads, corps commanders should leave mounted men, if
> they have them, if not, then footmen, to remain during the passage of the
> corps, and come up with the rear guards to show the way the troops have
> marched. The Provost Marshals of corps or divisions should take measures to
> occupy every dwelling in the vicinity of the line of march of the troops,
> and prevent any intrusion on the part of officers or men. All damages to
> fences or crops, all marauding and trespassing will be prevented as far as
> possible. Marauders will be at once brought to [illegible -- trial?] by
> division commanders, and the sentence will be executed, if awarded by the
> court, with promptness, and as publicly as possible.
> Any officer of any regiment or corps whatever is authorized to order
> forward or arrest any straggler of any regiment in the army. Resistance to
> such exercise of authority will be at the risk of death.
> By order of MAJ-GEN. MCCLELLAN,
> S. WILLIAMS, A. A. G.