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Butler, Benjamin F. (Benjamin Franklin) (1818-1893) Proclamation

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00171 Author/Creator: Butler, Benjamin F. (Benjamin Franklin) (1818-1893) Place Written: New Orleans, Louisiana Type: Broadside Date: 1 May 1862 Pagination: 1 p ; 31 x 19 cm.

Summary of Content: Institutes "the administration of Law Martial" in New Orleans, two days after it was surrendered to the Union. Terms include respect for the United States flag, punishment for aiding Confederates, harsh treatment for crimes against Federal, prohibition of public gatherings. "The armies of the United States came here not to destroy but to make good, to restore order out of chaos, and the government of laws in place of the passions of men." Same text as GLC04081.

Full Transcript: Proclamation.
Headquartes, Department of the Gulf
New Orleans, May 1, 1862.
The city of New Orleans and its environs, with all its interior and exterior defenses, having been surrendered to the combined ...naval and land forces of the United States, and having been evacuated by the rebel forces in whose possession they lately were, and being now in occupation of the forces of the United States, who have come to restore order, maintain public tranquillity, enforce peace and quiet under the laws and Con-stitution of the United States, the major-general commanding the forces of the United States in the Department of the Gulf hereby makes known and proclaims the object and purposes ?~ the Government of the United States in thus taking possession of the city of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana, and the rules and regulations by which the laws of the United States will be for the present and during a state of war enforced and maintained, for the plain guidance of all good citizens of the United States, as well as others who may heretofore have been in rebellion against their authority.
Thrice before has the city of New Orleans been rescued from the hand of a foreign government, and still more calamitous domestic insurrection, by the money and arms of the United States. It has of late been under the military control of the rebel forces, claiming to be the peculiar friends of its citizens; and at each time, in the judgment of the commander of the military forces holding it, it has been found necessary to preserve order and maintain quiet by the administration of law martial. Even during the interim from its evacuation by the rebel soldiers and its actual possession by the soldiers of the United States~ the civil authorities of the city have found it necessary to call for the intervention of an armed body known as the European Legion, to preserve public tranquillity. The commanding general, therefore, will cause the city to be governed, until the restoration of municil)al authority and his further orders, by the law martial, a measure for which it would seem the previous recital furnishes sufficient precedents.
All persons in arms against the United States are required to surrender themselves, with their arms, equipments, and munitions of war. The body known as the European Legion, not being understood to be in arms against the United States, but organized to protect the lives and property of the citizens, are invited still to co-operate with the forces of the United Statess to that end, and, so a will not be included in the terms of this order, but will report to these headquarters.
All flags, ensigns, and devices tending to uphold any authority whatever, save the flag of the United States and the flags of foreign consulates, must not be exhibited, but suppressed. The American ensign, the emblem of the United States, must be treated with the utmost deference and respect by all persons, tinder pain of severe punishment.
All persons well disposed towards the Government of the United States who shall renew their oath of allegiance will receive the safeguard and protection, in their persons and property, of the armies of the United States, the violation of which by any person is punishable with death. All persons still holding allegiance to the Confederate States will be deemed rebels against the Government of the United States, and regarded and treated as enemies thereof.
All foreigners not naturalized and claiming allegiance to their respective governments, and not having ma(le oath of allegiance to the supposed Government of the Confederate States, will be protected in their persons and property as heretofore under the laws of the United States.
All persons who may heretofore have given their adherence to the supposed Government of the Confederate States or have been in their service, who shall lay down an(l deliver up their arms and return to peaceful occupations and preserve quiet and order, holding no further correspondence nor giving aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States, will not be disturbed either in person or property, except so far under the orders of the commanding general, as the exigencies of the public service may render necessary.
The keepers of all public property, whether State, National, or Confederate, such as collections of art, libraries, museums, as well as public buildings, all munitions of ~var, and armed vessels, will at once make full returns thereof to these headquarters. All manufacturers of arms and munitions of war will report to these headquarters their kind and places of business. All rights of property, of whatever kind, will be held inviolate, subject only to the laws of the United States.
All inhabitants are enjoined to pursue their usual avocations; all shops and places of business are to be kept open in the accustomed manner, and services to be had in the churches and religious houses as in times of profound peace.
Keepers of all public houses, coffee houses, and drinking saloons are to report their names aud numbers to the office of the provost-marshal; will there receive license, and be held responsible for all disorders and disturbance of the peace arising in their respective places.
A sufficient force will be kept in the city to preserve order and maintain the laws.
The killing of an American soldier by any disorderly person or mob is simply assassination and murder a~nd not war, and will be so regarded and punished. The owner of any house or building in or from which such murder shall be committed will be held responsible therefor, and the house will be liable to be destroyed by the military authority.
All disorders and disturbances of the peace, done by combinations and numbers and crimes of an aggravated nature, interfering with the forces or laws of the United States, will be referred to a military court for trial and punishment; other misdemeanors will be subject to the municipal authority, if it chooses to act. Civil causes betweeii party and party will be referred to the ordinary tribunals. The levy and collection of all taxes, save those imposed by the laws of the United States, are suppressed, except those for keeping in reptir and lighting the streets and for sanitary purposes. Those are to be collected in the usual manner.
The circulation of Confederate bonds, evidences of debt, except notes in the similitude of bank notes issued by the Confederate States, or scrip, or any trade in the same, is strictly forbidden. It having been represented to the commanding general by the city authorities that these Confederate notes in the form of bank notes are in a great measure the only substitute for money which the people have been allowed to have, and that great distress would ensue among the poorer classes if the circulation of such notes were snppressed, such circulation will be permitted so long as any one may be inconsiderate enough to receive them till further orders.
No publication, either by newspaper, pamphlet, or handbill, giving accounts of the movement of soldiers of the United States within this department, reflecting in any way upon the United States or its officers, or tending in any way to influence the public mind against the Government of the United States, will be permitted, and all articles of war news, or editorial comments or correspondence making comments upon the movement of the armies of the United States or the rebels, must be submitted to the examination of an officer who will be detailed for that purpose from these headquarters. The transmission of all communications by telegraph will be under charge of an officer from these headquarters. The armies of the United States came here not to destroy but to make good, to restore order out of chaos, and the government of laws in place of the passions of men; to this end, therefore, the efforts of all well-disposed persous are invited to have every species of disorder quelled; and if any soldier of the United States should so far forget his duty or his flag as to commit any outrage upon any person or property, the commanding general requests that his name be instantly reported to the provost guard, so that he may be punished and his wrongful act redressed.
The municipal authority, so far as the police of the city and crimes are concerned, to the extent before indicated, is hereby suspended.
All assemblages of persons in the street, either by day or night, tend to disorder, and are forbidden.
The various companies composing the fire department in New Orleans will be permitted to retain their organizations, and are to report to the office of the provost-marshal, so that they may be known and not interfered with in their duties.
And, finally, it may be sufficient to add, without further enumeration, that all the requirements of martial law will be imposed so long as, in the judgment of the United States authorities, it may be necessary. And while it is the desire of these authorities to exercise this government mildly and after the usages of the past, it must not be supposed that it will not be vigorously and firmly administered as occasion calls.
By command of Major-General Butler:
Assistant Adjutant-General, Chief of Staff.
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People: Butler, Benjamin Franklin, 1818-1893

Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Subjects: Civil WarUnion ForcesUnion GeneralMilitary HistoryConfederate States of AmericaMilitary LawAmerican FlagCriminals and Outlaws

Sub Era: The American Civil War

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