Skip
Navigation

Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
March 12, 14, and 17, 1863


Martinsburg Weekly Gazette
March 24, 1863

Defences of the Upper Potomac.

Important Orders.

Headquarters Defences Upper Potomac,
Harperís Ferry, Va, March 14, 1863.

General Order No. 2.óI. Harperís Ferry and Point of Rocks are designated as the only stations between the parallels of the mouth of the Monocacy and Sir Johnís Run where goods, wares, merchandise, or any article of commerce or subsistence, will be permitted to be landed from the railroad or the cattle[?] to be crossed, or intended to be crossed, into Virginia.

II. Freight [?] railroad conductors and all agents or persons employed on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal are forbidden to land, at any intermediate point, go[?] of packages, trunks or boxes, of any description, belonging to private citizens, non-residents of Maryland.

III. All persons having permits to pass family supplies into Virginia, issued from the Proper authority, will forthwith on the arrival of their goods at either of the above posts of delivery, deliver their goods and papers to the revenue officers, who under the direction of the military commandant, will examine, in the strictest manner, the packages, bills of landing and custom house permits, and should any attempt at fraud be discovered, or any article be found contrabanded by laws, regulations or the orders permitting limited family trade with loyal families in Virginia, the packages will be seized for confiscation, according to orders and the persons arrested and sent with proper guard, to be turned over to the Provost Marshal of the Department at Baltimore. A statement of each case, with the names of witnesses and a certified invoice of the goods, will be made out and forwarded without delay by the officer making the seizure and arrest to the Provost Marshal at Baltimore.

IV. The commanding officers at point of Rocks, Harperís Ferry, Berlin, Duffield Station, Kerneysvill[e], Martinsburg, North Mountain and Sir Johnís Run will seize and keep in their possession all the boats, scows and skiffs and other water craft within their respective districts, and close all river crossings and ferries for either passengers, goods, or merchandise of any kind. All trade of any kind between Maryland and Virginia between Sir Jo[h]nís Run and the mouth of the Monocacy must pass over at the Point of Rocks or Harperís Ferry.

V. Persons not in the military service of the United States will not be permitted to cross the Potomac at any intermediate point without a special pass from these headquarters, and any one found attempting to do so, or apprehended after crossing, will be arrested and held as a spy for trial by military commission.

VI. All persons (male or female) without permits of trade wishing to pass from Maryland into Virginia, or from Virginia into Maryland, between the parallels already mentioned will be required to pass by Harperís Ferry, reporting to the Provost Marshal there, who will refer each case to the Commanding General of the Upper Potomac.

VII. Railroad cconductors [sic] and captain of canal boats will be required to take the names and residences of all persons who take passage with them at the Monocacy Station, Sir Johnís Run, and at the intermediate points between those stations and leave the list with the Provost Marshal at Harperís Ferry. Should any such way passengers leave intermediately the places where they are left will be noted on the lists. They will also add the names and residences of all other passengers, wherever they may have taken passage leaving at any of the stations between the parallels above mentioned.

VIII. Loyal citizens of Virginia who desire to bring their supplies to the markets of Maryland will have every facility offered them for transportation from Harperís Ferry and Point of Rocks; but in all cases of trade from either side the loyalty of the parties must be affirmed by the oath of allegiance to the General Gover[n]ment. The same oath will be required of all persons who pass into or out of Virginia; on whatever pretense of for whatever purpose. By order of

Brig. Gen. B. S. Roberts

Joe. Mc. Bell, Capt. and A. A. G. U. S. A.

. . .

Administration of the oath of Allegiance.

General Roberts has also issued the following order requiring the administration of the oath of allegiance to civilians residing within the lines of our defences and fortifications.

Hdsírs. Defence Upper Potomac.
Harpers Ferry, Va., March 17th 1863.

General Order No. 4ó1. All persons, male or female, residing within the lines of defences and fortifications in and about Harperís Ferry, embracing Maryland Heights, Loudon and Boliver [sic] Heights, will be required to report themselves at the Provost Marshalís office within the next ten (10) days from the date of this order, and make their oath of allegiance to the Federal Government of the United States, or to pass into the Confederate lines.

2. Such persons as elect to be passes into the Confederate lines, if at any time after, during the continuance of the present rebellion, are found within the lines of these defenses, or lurking about them, will be arrested and tried by military courts as spies.

3. All persons entering within the said lines of defenses, from either the Maryland or Virginia side, will be stopped by pickets or sentinels on whatever roads or entrance into Harperís Ferry, and by them informed that they must report themselves at the Provost Marshalís office and make their oath of allegiance to the Federal Government of the United States, or, as their election, be turned back to their homes.

4. The names and residence of all persons who may elect to go back to their homes will be taken by the guards or pickets and reported to the Provost Marshal, and if at any time afterward, during the continuance of the rebellion, they are found within the defence of Harperís Ferry, or lurking about them, they will be arrested and tried by military courts as spies.

5. The Provost Marshal [?] names and residence of all persons who take the oath of allegiance and a similar register of all who refuse to take it and it will be sufficient to enter on that first page of the Register, the oath to be administered, and the names of the subscribers will follow in consecutive order of dates without separate forms of oath for each.

6. No person (male or female) residing within the defences in and about Harperís Ferry, Virginia, who has not a lawful and respectable business, will not be permitted to remain within such lines, and will be, within the next ten (10) days, be sent beyond the parallels of the mouth of the Monocacy and of Sir Johnís Run and if at any time afterwards during the present rebellion, they are found within said parallels, they will be arrested and tried as enemies.

7. All Commanders and Provost marshals, within this command are required to see to the faithful, prompt and strict execution of this order.

By order of Brig. Gen. B. S. Roberts

Jos. McC Bell Captain and A. A. G. U. S. A.

_____

Head Qrís Force
Martinsburg, Va.
March 12, 1863.

Geníl Order No. 1

Lieut. Fred. A. Nimes, having been designated by Brig.-General B. E. Kelly, commanding Defences of Upper Potomac, as Permit Officer of this Post under Genl Order No [blank] from department Head Qrs. the following Regulations are announced to all concerned.

1st. All households, and heads of families, within the precincts of Martinsburg are hereby required to file at the Permit Office an attested list of all persons composing their families, stating, age, sex, and occupations; also, number of colored servants free or slaves, male or female.

Within ten days from this date if non-residal here or within ten days after arrival

2nd. All persons keeping Inns, Boarding houses, places of entertainment, Saloons, Stores, Grocerys, &c, are required to have authority from the Permit Office for further continuance of such business.

3rd. No goods consigned to persons at this point will be delivered by the Rail Road or Express agents without authority from the Permit Office

4th. No persons will be allowed to purchase goods or property or family supplied, of any description in quantities of greater value than One Dollar. And no persons will be allowed to sell such property without authority from the Permit Office.

5th. All permits heretofore issued at this place are from this date hereby revoked.

7th. Violations of the foregoing Regulations will be promptly dealt with if detected.

8th. Paragraph No 4 does not apply to persons connected with the Military service of the United States.

By order of

Col B. F. Smith

T. J. Hyatt
Lt. and Post Adjutant.


Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: March 1863

West Virginia Archives and History