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Re: [civilwarwest] Re: Commander's Responsibilities

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  • Kristine Statham
    Thank you and Laurie and Steve for a lot of helpfull information and suggestions. My train of thought was running along the lines that while an Army may
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 28, 2000
      Thank you and Laurie and Steve for a lot of helpfull information and suggestions. My train of thought was running along the lines that while an Army may requisition private property for military purpose, they must take reasonable steps (ie: receipts) to insure the owners of compensation. Sherman ordered his men to NOT furnish any receipts. I can find no reference to Sherman giving orders for the destruction of private property, with the exception of the burning of Howell Cobb's plantation, but can there be any doubt that he saw the the destruction going on around him on a daily basis, ( he mentions it in his Memoirs). Shermans complete failure to prevent these acts from continuing establishes, IMHO, a command responsibility. Once again, thanks for all your help.

      >>> oaksw@... 06/28/00 01:12PM >>>

      I have a book that will be available to me this weekend, "Tarnished Eagles"
      that may shed some light on the subject or a commander's responsibility for
      actions by his men during the CW.

      Below is an extract from US Army Field Manual 27-10 "The law of Land
      Warfare" that further contains extracts from the Geneva Convention. Many
      actions by Sherman's forces during the March to the Sea would not be
      condoned by either the Geneva Convention or today's Uniformed Code of
      Military Justice for our armed services. I hope this helps.

      Field Manual 27-10


      266. General
      Protected persons are entitled, in all circumstances, to respect for their
      persons, their honour, their family rights, their religious convictions and
      practices, and their manners and customs. They shall at all times be
      humanely treated, and shall be protected especially against all acts of
      violence or threats thereof and against insults and public curiosity.
      Women shall be especially protected against any attack on their honour, in
      particular against rape, enforced prostitution, or any form of indecent
      Without prejudice to the provisions relating to their state of health, age
      and sex, all protected persons shall be treated with the same consideration
      by the Party to the conflict in whose power they are, without any adverse
      distinction based, in particular, on race, religion or political opinion.
      However, the Parties to the conflict may take such measures of control and
      security in regard to protected persons as may be necessary as a result of
      the war. (GC, art, 27.)

      267. Danger Zones
      The presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points
      or areas immune from military operations. (GC, art. 28.)

      268. Responsibilities
      The Party to the conflict in whose hands protected persons may be, is
      responsible for the treatment accorded to them by its agents, irrespective
      of any individual responsibility which may be incurred. (GC, art. 29.)

      269. Application to Protecting Powers and Relief Organizations
      Protected persons shall have every facility for making application to the
      Protecting Powers, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the
      National Red Cross (Red Crescent, Red Lion and Sun) Society of the country
      where they may be, as well as to any organization that might assist them.
      These several organizations shall be granted all facilities for that purpose
      by the authorities, within the bounds set by military or security
      Apart from the visits of the delegates of the Protecting Powers and of the
      International Committee of the Red Cross, provided for by Article 143, the
      Detaining or Occupying Powers shall facilitate as much as possible visits to
      protected persons by the representatives of other organizations whose object
      is to give spiritual aid or material relief to such persons. (GC, art. 30.)

      270. Prohibition of Coercion
      a. Treaty Provision.
      No physical or moral coercion shall be exercised against protected persons,
      in particular to obtain information from them or from third parties. (GC,
      art. 31.)
      b. Guides. Among the forms of coercion prohibited is the impressment of
      guides from the local inhabitants.

      271. Prohibition of Corporal Punishment, Torture, Etc.
      The High Contracting Parties specifically agree that each of them is
      prohibited from taking any measure of such a character as to cause the
      physical suffering or extermination of protected persons in their hands.
      This prohibition applies not only to murder, torture, corporal punishment,
      mutilation and medical or scientific experiments not necessitated by the
      medical treatment of a protected person, but also to any other measures of
      brutality whether applied by civilian or military agents. (GC, art. 32.)

      272. Individual Responsibility, Collective Penalties, Reprisals, Pillage
      No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not
      personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of
      intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.
      Pillage is prohibited.
      Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited. (GC,
      art. 33.) (See also pars. 47 and 397.)

      273. Hostages
      The taking of hostages is prohibited. (GC, art. 34.)


      393. Destruction and Seizure of Property
      a. Prohibition. It is especially forbidden * * * to destroy or seize the
      enemy's property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively
      demanded by the necessities of war. (HR, art. 23, par. (g).)
      b. Occupying Power. Any destruction by the Occupying Power of real or
      personal property belonging individually or collectively to private persons,
      or to the State, or to other public authorities or to social or co-operative
      organizations, is prohibited, except where such destruction is rendered
      absolutely necessary by military operations. (GC, art. 53.)
      c. General Devastation. See paragraph 56.

      394. Determination Whether Property Is Public or Private
      a. Beneficial Ownership. Under modern conditions, the distinction between
      public and private property is not always easy to draw. For the purpose of
      treatment of property under belligerent occupation, it is often necessary to
      look beyond strict legal title and to as-certain the character of the
      property on the basis of the beneficial ownership thereof. Thus, for
      example, trust funds, pension funds, and bank deposits generated by private
      persons are not to be regarded as public property simply by reason of their
      being held by a State-owned bank.
      b. Property of Mixed Ownership. For the purpose of determining what type of
      control the occupant may exercise over property (by way of confiscation,
      seizure, requisition, etc.), the most cogent evidence of public character is
      such a complete or partial assumption by the State of the economic risk
      involved in the holding and management of the property in question that, the
      State, rather than private individuals or corporation, would be subjected to
      a substantial portion of the loss were the property to be appropriated for
      the use of the occupant. Should property which is ostensibly private be
      subjected to a large measure of governmental control and management or
      perform functions which are essentially public, these facts would tend to
      indicate that the property should be regarded in practice as public.
      If property which is appropriated by the occupant is beneficially owned in
      part by the State and in part by private interests, the occupation
      authorities should compensate the private owners to the extent of their
      interest. Such compensation should bear the same relation-ship to the full
      compensation which would be paid if the property were entirely privately
      owned as their interest bears to the total value of the property concerned.
      The occupant may take what measures it deems necessary to assure that no
      portion of the compensation paid on account of private interests accrues to
      the State.
      c. Property of Unknown Ownership. If it is unknown whether certain property
      is public or private, it should be treated as public property until its
      ownership is ascertained.

      395. Seized Property
      Valid capture or seizure of property requires both an intent to take such
      action and a physical act of capture or seizure. The mere
      presence within occupied territory of property which is subject to
      appropriation under international law does not operate to vest title
      thereto in the occupant.

      396. Title to Captured or Seized Enemy Property
      Public property captured or seized from the enemy, as well as private
      property validly captured on the battlefield and abandoned property, is
      property of the United States (see U. S. Const., Art. I, sec. 8, cl. 11),
      and failure to turn over such property to the proper authorities or disposal
      thereof for personal profit is a violation of Article 103 of the Uniform
      Code of Military Justice.

      397. Pillage
      a. Treaty Provision. Pillage is formally forbidden. (HR, art. 47.) (See
      also HR, art. 28; par. 47 herein; GC, art 33; par. 272 herein.)
      b. Violation of military law. A member of the armed forces who before or in
      the presence of the enemy quits his place of duty to plunder or pillage is
      guilty of the offense of misbehavior before the enemy. (UCMJ, Art. 99 (6).)

      398. Private Gain by Officers and Soldiers
      Neither officers nor soldiers of the United States are allowed to make use
      of their position or power in the hostile country for private gain, not even
      for commercial transactions otherwise legitimate.

      405. Municipal, Religious, Charitable, and Cultural Property
      a. Treaty Provision. The property of municipalities, that of institutions
      dedicated to religion, charity and education, the arts and sciences, even
      when State property, shall be treated as private property.
      All seizure or destruction of, or willful damage to, institutions of this
      character, historic monuments, works of art and science, is forbidden, and
      should be made the subject of legal proceedings. (HR, art. 56.)
      b. Use of Such Premises. The property included in the foregoing rule may be
      requisitioned in case of necessity for quartering the troops and the sick
      and wounded, storage of supplies and material, housing of vehicles and
      equipment, and generally as prescribed for private property. Such property
      must, however, be secured against all avoid-able injury, even when located
      in fortified places which are subject to seizure or bombardment.
      c. Religious Buildings, Shrines, and Consecrated Places. In the practice of
      the United States, religious buildings, shrines, and consecrated places
      employed for worship are used only for aid stations, medical installations,
      or for the housing of wounded personnel awaiting evacuation, provided in
      each case that a situation of emergency requires such use.

      406. Private Property: General
      a. Treaty Provision. Private property cannot be confiscated. (HR, art. 46,
      2d par.)
      b. Prohibited Acts. The foregoing prohibition extends not only to outright
      taking in violation of the law of war but also to any acts which, through
      the use of threats, intimidation, or pressure or by actual exploitation of
      the power of the occupant, permanently or temporarily deprive the owner of
      the use of his property without his consent or without authority under
      international law.

      407. Private Real Property
      Immovable private enemy property may under no circumstances be seized. It
      may, however, be requisitioned (see par. 412).

      408. Private Movable Property Susceptible of Direct Military Use
      See Article 53, HR (par. 403).

      409. Receipts
      If private property is seized in conformity with the preceding para-graph, a
      receipt therefor should be given the owner or a record made of the nature
      and quantity of the property and the name of the owner or person in
      possession in order that restoration and compensation may be made at the
      conclusion of the war.

      410. Types of Private Property Susceptible to Direct Military Use
      a. Seizure. The rule stated in the foregoing paragraph includes everything
      susceptible of direct military use, such as cables, telephone and telegraph
      plants, radio, television, and telecommunications equipment, motor vehicles,
      railways, railway plants, port facilities, ships in port, barges and other
      watercraft, airfields, aircraft, depots of arms, whether military or
      sporting, documents connected with the war, all varieties of military
      equipment, including that in the hands of manufacturers, component parts of
      or material suitable only for use in the foregoing, and in general all kinds
      of war material.
      b. Destruction. The destruction of the foregoing property and all damage to
      the same is justifiable only if it is rendered absolutely necessary by
      military operations. (See GC, art. 53; par. 393b herein.)

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Kristine Statham" <kstatham@...>
      To: <civilwarwest@egroups.com>
      Sent: 28 June, 2000 09:17
      Subject: [civilwarwest] Re:

      > Here's a question for you guys. Does anyone know if officers during the
      CW were held accountable for the actions of the men under their command?
      They can in some instances today. I'm doing research on Sherman for a
      paper on whether his March to the Sea would comply with present day military
      standards vs CW standards. Help, suggestions, hints?
      > Respectfully yours
      > Kristine
      > >>> cob2mo@... 06/28/00 02:36AM >>>
      > Ok Guys. I need help! I need any and all information anyone has on a
      > Y Slack Bridg General Served at Wilson Creek and Bentonville Ar under
      > Any help will be appraicated.
      > Regards
      > CoB
      > aka George Reed
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      > >
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