Wednesday, November 28, 2012

November 29, 1862 (Saturday): Amnesty

General Braxton Bragg


Numbers 4.
Murfreesborough, November 29, 1862.
     Gratified beyond expression at the confident tone and fine discipline which pervades his troops, and full of admiration at their fortitude and patient submission to privations, united to their gallantry and heroism in the recent arduous and brilliant campaign, by which so much valuable territory has been redeemed, and so many true and loyal people liberated, the general commanding is induced to publish full pardon to all soldiers absent without authority who shall within a reasonable time return to their command and report for duty. They are urged to avail themselves of this privilege before the inauguration of the new system of military courts established by law as a vigorous and prompt administration of justice to all delinquents. Hereafter no excuse will be allowed those who abandon their colors and leave their comrades to perform their duties and defend their homes.
    Commissioned officers guilty of such offenses are excluded from the benefit of this amnesty, and will not be excused. They are held to be unworthy to command gallant men, and to merit exemplary punishment.
     Vigorous measures have been adopted to arrest all who fail to respond to this last and generous appeal, and they must expect full justice, tempered only with the mercy they have failed to show either to their comrades or cause.
     By command of General Bragg:

    Chief of Staff and Assistant Adjutant-General.

Official Records, Series I., Vol. 20, Part 2, Page 429.

Bragg's superlatives masked the deeper problem addressed by his missive.  Soldiers were leaving his command to such a degree as to make offensive operations very difficult.  Returning absentees to the ranks was worth the effort at amnesty. 

No comments:

Post a Comment