October 28, 1862
Headquarters Cheat Mount’n Divis’n.
Clarksburg, Va., Oct. 22, 1862.
“No. 28 The General Commanding has been repeatedly pained to learn that a few bad men in some of the regiments of his command are in the habit of abusing, beating, and otherwise maltreating the negro and mulatto servants and teamsters in his command. The services of these negroes and mulattos are necessary and cannot be dispensed with, without taking soldiers from their legitimate duties, which would be an injury to the service. These black people are generally quiet and orderly—they were created black and cannot help it—they have mostly been made slaves, and robbed of the proceeds of their own labor and could not help it; and have left their traitor masters in arms against our forces, and are desirous of helping us all they can; and are, therefore, entitled to our pity and commiseration, rather than abuse and contempt; and none but traitors or a coward, who would strike a woman and abuse children, would wantonly maltreat them. It is suspected that the rebels have hired these bad men to enlist in some of our regiments as spies, and for the purpose, of abusing and driving back the contrabands, that they (the rebels) may have the benefit of the services of their slaves, and they be deterred from coming into our lines.
It is therefore ordered, and hereby made the duty of every officer and soldier of this command to immediately shoot down every soldier or other person, who may causelessly abusing, beating, or otherwise maltreating any of the negro or mulatto servants or drivers in or about this command.
By order of
Brigadier General R. H. Milroy.
Henry C. Flesher, Capt. & A. A. A. G.”
The above order is published in the Wheeling Press of yesterday, . . .
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: October 1862