General Butler's Proclamation.
MAY 13, 1861.--Baltimore, Md., garrisoned by United States troops.
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME 2 [S# 2] -- CHAPTER IX.
DEPARTMENT OF ANNAPOLIS,
Federal Hill, Baltimore, May 14, 1861.
E. C. PARKER,
A detachment of the forces of the Federal Government under my command have occupied the city of Baltimore for the purpose, among other things, of enforcing respect and obedience to the laws, as well of the State--if requested thereto by the civil authorities--as of the United States laws, which are being violated within its limits by some malignant and traitorous men, and in order to testify the acceptance by the Federal Government of the fact that the city and all the well intentioned portion of its inhabitants are loyal to the Union and the Constitution, and are to be so regarded and treated by all. To the end, therefore, that all misunderstanding of the purpose of the Government may be prevented, and to set; at rest all unfounded, false, and seditious rumors; to relieve all apprehensions, if any are felt, by the well-disposed portion <ar2_31> of the community, and to make it thoroughly understood by all traitors, their aiders and abettors, that rebellious acts must cease, I hereby, by the authority vested in me as commander of the Department of Annapolis, of which Baltimore forms a part, do now command and make known that no loyal and well-disposed citizen will be disturbed in his lawful occupation or business; that private property will not be interfered with by the men under my command, or allowed to be interfered with by others, except in so far as it may be used to afford aid and comfort to those in rebellion against the Government, whether here or elsewhere all of which property, munitions of war, and that fitted to aid and support the rebellion, will be seized and held subject to confiscation; and, therefore, all manufacturers of arms and munitions of war are hereby requested to report to me forthwith, so that the lawfulness of their occupation may be known and understood, and all misconstruction of their doings be avoided. No transportation from the city to the rebels of articles fitted to aid and support troops in the field will be permitted, and the fact of such transportation, after the publication of this proclamation, will be taken and received as proof of illegal intention on the part of the consignors, and will render the goods liable to seizure and confiscation.
The Government being ready to receive all such stores and supplies, arrangements will be made to contract for them immediately, and the owners and manufacturers of such articles of equipments and clothing and munitions of war and provisions are desired to keep themselves in communication with the Commissary-General, in order that their workshops may be employed for loyal purposes, and the artisans of the city resume and carry on their profitable occupations.
The acting assistant quartermaster and commissary of subsistence of the United States here stationed has been instructed to proceed and furnish at fair prices 40,000 rations for the use of the Army of the United States, and further supplies will be drawn from the city to the full extent of its capacity, if the patriotic and loyal men choose so to furnish supplies.
All assemblages, except the ordinary police, of armed bodies of men, other than those regularly organized and commissioned by the State of Maryland, and acting under the orders of the governor thereof, for drill and other purposes, are forbidden within the department.
All officers of the militia of Maryland having command within the limits of the department are requested to report through their officers forthwith to the general in command, so that he may be able to know and distinguish the regularly commissioned and loyal troops of Maryland from armed bodies who may claim to be such.
The ordinary operations of the corporate government of the city of Baltimore and of the civil authorities will not be interfered with, but, on the contrary, will be aided by all the power at the command of the general, upon proper call being made, and all such authorities are cordially invited to co-operate with the general in command to carry out the purposes set forth in the proclamation, so that the city of Baltimore may be shown to the country to be, what she is in fact, patriotic and loyal to the Union, the Constitution, and the laws.
No flag, banner, ensign, or device of the so-called Confederate States, or any of them, will be permitted to be raised or shown in this department, and the exhibition of either of them by evil-disposed persons will be deemed and taken to be evidence of a design to afford aid and comfort to the enemies of the country. To make it more apparent that the Government of the United States by far more relies upon the loyalty, patriotism, and zeal of the good citizens of Baltimore and vicinity than upon any exhibition of force calculated to intimidate them into that obedience to the laws which the Government doubts not will be paid from inherent respect and love of order, the commanding general has brought to the city with him, of the many thousand troops in the immediate neighborhood, which might be at once concentrated here, scarcely more than an ordinary guard, and until it fails him, he will continue to rely upon that loyalty and patriotism of the citizens of Maryland which have never yet been found wanting to the Government in time of need. The general in command desires to greet and treat in this part of his department all the citizens thereof as friends and brothers, having a common purpose, a common loyalty, and a common country. Any infractions of the law by the troops under his command, or any disorderly, unsoldierlike conduct, or any interference with private property, he desires to have immediately reported to him, and pledges himself that if any soldier so far forgets himself as to break those laws that he has sworn to defend and enforce, he Shall be most rigorously punished.
The general believes that if the suggestions and requests contained in this proclamation are faithfully carried out by the co-operation of all good and Union-loving citizens, and peace and quiet and certainty of future peace and quiet are thus restored, business will resume its accustomed channels, trade take the place of dullness and inactivity, efficient labor displace idleness, and Baltimore will be in fact, what she is entitled to be, in the front rank of the commercial cities of the nation.
Given at Baltimore the day and year herein first above written.
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Department of Annapolis
Source: Official Records of the War of the Rebellion
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