March 5, 1862 · Charlestown, [Virginia]
Broadside with old folds, edge wear, tears, & a couple of old tissue repairs on the verso. Manuscript folded & foxed..
General Nathaniel P. Banks, via Assistant Adjutant General & Major of Volunteers R. Morris Copeland, condemns the actions of troops for "depredations on property, disturbance of peaceful families and the most reprehensible infringement upon the rights of citizens" and warns of the consequences:
"To countenance, excuse or tolerate such crimes, is to impair and destroy the discipline of the army and injure the holy cause, that we have left our homes to sustain. The citizens who are wronged suffer least from the injuries inflicted upon them. The curse returns upon the army which thus abuses its power, and for that reason as well as others they must be suppressed. Men who commit such flagrant acts will meet the punishment such acts deserve, and for the worst the punishment is DEATH."
Major Robert Morris Copeland was dishonorably discharged from the army later in 1862. (Inventory #: 0000618)