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589. The invalids of the regular army are organized into companies, and stationed at the recruiting depots of their respective regiments, where they constitute the permanent garrisons.  They are not dropped from the rolls of their respective companies.  Should they become fit for field service at any time, they are again returned to their companies.  Enlistments for these companies are not allowed; but invalid soldiers, when discharged, may re-enlist in the Volunteer Invalid Corps.  As soldiers in the regular army become unfit for field-duty, they are examined by the surgeons and sent to the depots, there to be attached to the invalid companies of their respective regiments. (G. O. No. 290, 1863.)

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VETERANS.

590. VOLUNTEERS who have served at least nine months, and who re-enlist, are entitled to be called “Veteran Volunteers,” and may wear the service chevron showing that they have served one enlistment. (G. O. No. 191, 1863.)

591. Veterans are entitled to one month’s advance pay, a premium of two dollars, and bounty amounting in all to four hundred and two dollars, to be paid by installments as provided in G. O. No. 191, Par. 30.  If discharged before the expiration of their enlistment, veterans will receive the balance on the foregoing bounty.  The heirs of veterans who die in service will be entitled to the balance of the above bounty remaining unpaid at the time of death.

592. Soldiers who re-enlisted prior to June 25, 1863, and who have complied with the conditions promulgated in G. O. No. 191 of that date, are entitled to the bounty therein provided; that is, they must have served one enlistment of at least nine months, and been regularly and properly mustered into service. (G. O. No. 216, 1863.)

593. A veteran regiment, to entitle it to be called such, must be composed of at least one-half of its number of men who have served one enlistment of not less than nine months. (G. O. No. 216, 1863.)

594. Recruits—that is, men who have served less than nine months, or who have not seen service at all—who enlisted in old regiments whose terms expire in 1864 and 1865, are entitled to one month’s pay, a premium of two dollars, and bounty amounting in all to three hundred and fifteen dollars, to be paid as follows:—

 

On being mustered into service, and before leaving depot or recruiting station,—

One month’s advance pay......................................................................... $13.00

First installment of bounty........................................................................ $60.00

Premium..................................................................................................... $2.00

Total......................................................................................................... $75.00

 

At the first regular pay-day, or two months after muster-in...................... $40.00

At the first regular pay-day after six months’ service............................... $40.00

At the first regular pay-day after the end of the first year......................... $40.00

At the first regular pay-day after eighteen months..................................... $40.00

At the first regular pay-day after two years.............................................. $40.00

At the expiration of three years’ service, or before, if discharged, the

remainder..................................................................................... $40.00

Total....................................................................................................... $315.00

 

595. If the Government shall not require these troops for the full period of their enlistment, and they be honorably mustered out of service before, they shall receive, on being mustered out, the whole amount of bounty remaining unpaid, the same as if they had served their full term.  The foregoing bounty applies to all recruits, both regulars and volunteers (G. O. No. 338, 1864, and Circular 98, Provost-Marshal General’s Office, Nov. 3, 1863).

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COLORED TROOPS.

596. THE Act of July 17, 1862, section 12, authorizes the President to receive into the service of the United States persons of African descent, for any military or naval service for which they may be found competent.  Section 13 of the same Act gives freedom to the slaves of rebels who enter the service of the United States, and also to the mothers, wives, and children of such slaves as enter the service, provided they are the slaves of rebels.

597. On this authority is based the organization of the colored regiments.  The officers appointed by the President are white men, and selected by a board of examiners, as stated in par. 579.  The non-commissioned officers may be either white or colored.

598. Colored soldiers receive the same pay, allowances, and bounties and are in all respects on the same footing as white troops.  The administration of colored troops is, therefore, the same as that of white troops.

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PUNISHMENTS.

599. THE punishment of soldiers for military offences is a subject of much importance not well understood by them, nor is it very clearly defined except in specific cases.  This imperfect knowledge on the part of soldiers, and want of a clearly defined system regulating the punishments inflicted for the lighter offences, are the causes of a large number of offences that would not otherwise occur, and of errors on the part of officers, against which the soldiers may justly complain, if they only knew how to do so.

600. The authority to punish is derived from two sources.  That obtained from the Articles of War and other statutes is comparatively clear and specific; but that based upon custom is not so well defined.  Where the latter commences, and what is the limit to which it may be carried, seems almost entirely dependent on the discrimination of each individual officer.

601. The Articles of War provide for the punishment of all offences therein indicated by sentence of courts-martial.  All cases that cannot clearly be placed under a particular article are provided for in the 99th Article.  The customary charge in these doubtful cases is “conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline.”  The sentence is governed by the “customs of war in like cases.”

602. The confinement of soldiers and arrest of non-commissioned officers, and the lighter corporeal punishments, although not authorized by law, are sanctioned by custom; and custom is the common law of the army.  The summary punishments sometimes inflicted on soldiers, such as tying them up by the hands, compelling them to carry a loaded knapsack, and similar inflictions, are resorted to in cases of insubordination, unruly conduct, &c., where the usual trial by court-martial or field-officers court cannot be conveniently had, or when the punishment is likely to be slow and tardy.

603. Soldiers should bear in mind, when they feel aggrieved at the summary punishment inflicted by an officer, that it might have been much worse had he pursued the course indicated by the law or the Articles of War, and that the officer, in inflicting a speedy punishment has only consulted the best interests of the soldier, so far as the necessity of sustaining the discipline of the service will permit.

604. The officer is able to see beforehand that if he prefers charges against the man, an indefinite period must elapse before a court-martial can be assembled; the soldier must remain in confinement in the mean while: this, added to the sentence which the court would probably inflict, would in reality be a much greater punishment than the officer would himself be likely to inflict on his own responsibility.

605. Extreme cases sometimes occur where an officer exceeds his authority, prompted by personal feeling against the soldier.  Such instances, fortunately, are rare; but, as they may occur, a remedy is provided in the following Article of War:—

 

ART. 35. If any inferior officer or soldier shall think himself wronged by his captain or other officer, he is to complain thereof to the commanding officer of the regiment, who is hereby required to summon a regimental court-martial, for the doing justice to the complainant; from which regimental court-martial either party may, if he thinks himself still aggrieved, appeal to a general court-martial.  But if upon a second hearing, the appeal shall appear vexatious and groundless, the person so appealing shall be punished at the discretion of the said court-martial.”

 

606. When a soldier considers himself wronged, his proper course is to write a statement of his complaint in the following form, which will serve as a form for communications on any other subject when a soldier may desire to correspond with an officer:—

 

CAMP CHASE, OHIO, January 21, 1864.

Sir:—

 

I have the honor to call the attention of the commanding officer of the regiment to certain acts of ill treatment that I have received at the hands of Lieut. J_______ C_______, 2nd Lieut. 1st U. S. Infantry.  (Here give the circumstances of the ill treatment in detail.)

Respectfully submitted for the action of the commanding officer of the regiment.

 

Very respectfully, your ob’t serv’t,

C_______ D_______,

Private Co. A, 1st U.S. Infantry.

Lieut. L_______ M_______,

1st Lieutenant and Adjutant,

1st U S. Infantry.

Approved and forwarded,

A_______ B_______,

Capt. Company A, 1st U S. Infantry.

 

607. This communication is addressed to the adjutant of the regiment, but is first submitted to the commanding officer of the company, who will endorse his views upon it before sending it up to the adjutant.

608. Such a communication should not be sent, however, without good cause, as it is liable to react on the soldier; for, if soldiers should send up such communications for every trivial matter in which they consider themselves aggrieved, it is easy to see to what extent it might be carried.  In their subordinate positions, they are liable to entertain many ill-founded ideas.

609. Private soldiers, when charged with any offence, are confined under guard until their cases are acted on.  In the mean time, it is the custom that prisoners confined under guard be kept employed at such work as the commanding office may direct,—usually clearing the grounds about the camp or garrison, cutting wood, &c.  Prisoners, unless employed, would soon become sick.

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THE COURT-MARTIAL.

610. WHEN enlisted men find themselves arraigned before a court-martial, a knowledge of how they should conduct themselves on trial is essential.

611. The charges are usually made known to the prisoner before trial.  In fact, he is entitled to a copy of the charges against him beforehand and should make up his mind as to what will be his defense.  He may be permitted to have counsel in the court, if he requests it.

612. When the court is ready to proceed with the trial, the prisoner is brought in.  The names of the members are called over by the recorder or judge-advocate; the order convening the court is then read over, and the prisoner then asks permission to introduce his counsel into the court-room.  He then is asked if he has any objections to be tried by any member on the court.  If he has any objection, he must state it: the objection may be either against the right of the court to try him, or to the relevancy of the charges, or to some members of the court.  The court deliberates on the objections, and he is informed of the result, whether his objections are sustained or not.

613. The court is next sworn in the presence of the prisoner, and the room is then cleared of the witnesses, and the charges are read to the prisoner, and he is asked how he pleads, first to the specifications, and then to the charge, “Guilty, or not guilty.”  If the prisoner does not answer, he is regarded as having plead “not guilty.”

614. The witnesses that give evidence against the prisoner are called first.  They are sworn by the recorder or judge-advocate, and first examined by him, then by the prisoner, and finally by the court.  The prisoner writes out or dictates his questions to the recorder, who writes them down, and also the answers.  The witnesses called by the prisoner are first questioned by him, then by the recorder, and then by the court.

615. When all the witnesses are examined, the prisoner makes his defense, if he has any to make, and a reasonable length of time will be allowed him if he wishes to write it, or the recorder will take it down if he delivers it verbally; or this may be done by the counsel for the prisoner.  The recorder or judge-advocate can reply if he chooses.  If the prisoner has no prospect of disproving the charges against him, his best course is to plead guilty, and rely upon his statement in defence; or he may bring witnesses to prove his previous good character; or he may even introduce testimony mitigating the circumstances of his guilt, and to the mercy of the court.

616. During the trial it is customary to remove the shackles or handcuffs from the prisoner.  After the trial, the prisoner is sent back to await the publication of the proceedings, which requires time.  They are first sent to the officer ordering the court; and, if the sentence involves death, it requires the approval of the President, except in time of war, in the field, in the case of a spy or deserter, or of mutiny or murder, when it may be acted on by the commander of the army in the field.  If the officer ordering the court is subordinate to the commander of the army, he may endorse final action on the proceedings, unless they extend to imprisonment in a penitentiary, or loss of life of the enlisted man, when they must be sent to the commander of the army.  If the commander is himself the officer that ordered the court, then he must send the proceedings up to the President; if the soldier is sentenced to the penitentiary or death, unless in the case of a spy or deserter, or of mutiny or murder, in these cases he may act finally himself.

617. The legal punishments of soldiers are specified in the following Regulations, viz.:—

 

895. The legal punishments for soldiers by sentence of a court-martial according to the offence, and the jurisdiction of the court, are—death; confinement; confinement on bread-and-water-diet; solitary confinement; hard labor; ball and chain; forfeiture of pay and allowances; discharges from service; and reprimands, and, when non-commissioned officers, reduction to the ranks.  Ordnance sergeants and hospital stewards, however, though liable to discharge, may not be reduced.  Nor are they to be tried by regimental or garrison courts-martial, unless by special permission of the department commander.  Solitary confinement, or confinement on bread and water, shall not exceed fourteen days at a time, with intervals between the periods of such confinement not less than such periods; and not exceeding eighty-four days in any one year.”

 

618. General courts-martial are not limited in the penalties they may inflict.  Regimental and garrison courts-martial are limited in their powers by the following Article of War, viz.:—

 

ART. 67. No garrison or regimental court-martial shall have the power to try capital cases or commissioned officers; neither shall they inflict a fine exceeding one month’s pay, nor imprison, nor put to hard labor, any non-commissioned officer or soldier for a longer time than one month.”

 

619. By sec. 7 of the Act of July 17, 1862, a field officer is authorized to act in all cases where a regimental or garrison court would have jurisdiction.  The field officer tries the case instead of the court, and the proceedings should be similar, as far as possible, to those of a regimental or garrison court.

620. A soldier, seeking to have his sentence remitted by reason of subsequent good conduct, or in consequence of the development of new or additional testimony in his favor, may do so by submitting the facts in the case to the officer who ordered the court and revised the proceedings, or to his successor.

621. Sec. 29, Act of March 3, 1863, contains a proviso, “that if the prisoner be in close confinement, the trial shall not be delayed for a period longer than sixty days.”  Therefore, at the expiration of sixty days, the prisoner can lawfully claim to be tried, or released from close confinement until he can be tried.

622. When prisoners are in confinement waiting to be tried by civil authority, they cannot claim payment for any portion of the time they are so confined, unless discharged without trial, or by trial and acquitted; and company commanders are required to state on their rolls the period of such confinement, and how discharged. (Circular 21, War Department, Adjutant-General’s Office, March 1, 1864.)  Soldiers convicted by civil authority are dishonorably discharged the service.

623. Soldiers should know that for all offences against persons or property, and for all crimes, they are as amenable to the civil authority as civilians, and can be arrested and tried the same as any other person.

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PRISONERS OF WAR.

624. WHEN soldiers are captured by the enemy, they must expect to be closely guarded and subject to great inconvenience.  The customs of war, however, entitle the prisoner to certain privileges.  He should be permitted to keep all his personal effects that can readily be transported with him and that cannot be used to effect his escape.  If his money is taken from him, it should be used to supply his wants, and the balance returned when he is released or exchanged; he is entitled to food and clothing; he is entitled to kind and considerate treatment as long as he is submissive and obedient, and can claim to be treated as an ordinary prisoner of war.  Guerrillas, spies, &c. are not ordinary prisoners of war, and are, therefore, at the mercy of their captors.

625. “A prisoner of war is a public enemy, armed or attached to the hostile army for active aid, who has fallen into the hands of the captor, either fighting or wounded, on the field or in the hospital, by individual surrender or by capitulation.” (G. O. No. 100, 1863, Par. 49.)

626. A prisoner of war, in order to claim the immunities of such a situation, must belong to the hostile army in some authorized way, or be in the employ of the Government in some official capacity, and as an enemy he must first throw down his arms, and ask for quarter, and be submissive to his captors.

627. Troops using the enemy’s uniform or flag to deceive, are at the mercy of their captors when taken.  If captured clothing is used, it should be worn with some distinctive mark or badge indicative of their character.

628. Prisoners who have escaped and are recaptured should not be punished for escaping, although they may be subjected to stricter confinement.  It is the duty of prisoners to escape if they can.  They should, therefore, avoid any parole which would prevent them from taking advantage of any opportunities to escape.

629. Enlisted men are prohibited from taking a parole, except through an officer.  A soldier giving his parole without the approval thereto of his commanding officer, subjects himself to the penalty of desertion, and the parole is void.  It is only admissible for a soldier to parole himself when he has suffered long imprisonment and been properly separated from his command, without the possibility of being paroled through an officer. (G. O. No. 49, 1863.)

630. Paroling on the battle-field is prohibited; and no parole should be taken or given under any circumstances until the prisoners are secured beyond the possibility of recapture.  When paroles are given, it is done “by the exchange of signed duplicates of a written document, in which the same and rank of the parties paroled are correctly stated.”

631. Paroles are of two kinds—a military parole and a parole of honor.  A military parole is where the prisoner is released from custody, and pledges himself not to take up arms against his captors until properly exchanged.  A parole of honor is where the prisoner, still under the control of his captors, pledges himself to do or not to do a certain thing, so far as he himself is concerned; as where for the privilege of being released from prison he promises to make no attempt to escape. (G. O. No. 207, 1863.)

632. Neither parole should be given except under circumstances that would manifestly justify their being given.  The prisoner is performing a service to his own cause in compelling his captors to guard and provide for him, and his own Government is supposed to take all the necessary measures for procuring his proper exchange.

633. The inhabitants of a hostile country are not treated as foes so long as they remain peaceable and submissive to the forces occupying.  Individuals are to be treated as spies and guerrillas who perform any overt acts of hostility or give information to the enemy.  The inhabitants of the country are treated as prisoners of war only when they rise en masse to repel the invading forces.

634. Prisoners of war are entitled to pay during their imprisonment the same as if they were off duty. (G. O. No. 9, 1862.)

 

“The following plan for paying to the families of officers and soldiers in the service of the United States, who are or may become prisoners of war, sums due them by the Government, having been approved by the President, it is published for the information of all concerned.

“Payment will be made to persons presenting a written authority from a prisoner to draw his pay; or, without such authority, to his wife, the guardian of his minor children, or his widowed mother, in the order named.

“Application for such pay must be made to the senior paymaster of the district, in which the regiment of the prisoner is serving, and must be accompanied by the certificate of a Judge of a Court of the United States, of a District Attorney of the United States, or of some other party under the seal of a court of record of the State in which the applicant is a resident, setting forth that the said applicant is the wife of the prisoner, the guardian of his children, or his widowed mother, and, if occupying either of the last two relationships towards him, that there is no one in existence who is more nearly related, according to the above classification.

“Payments will be made to parties thus authorized and identified, on their receipts made out in the manner that would be required of the prisoner himself, at least one month’s pay being in all cases retained by the United States.  The officer making the payment will see that it is entered on the last previous muster-roll for the payment of the prisoner’s company, or will report, if those rolls are not in his possession, to the senior paymaster of the district, who will either attend to the entry or give notice of the payment to the Paymaster-General, if the rolls have been forwarded to his office.” (G. O. No. 90, 1861.)

 

635. Prisoners of war are also entitled to pay for rations during the period of their imprisonment, which will be commuted to them by the Subsistence Department at the cost price of the ration. (G. O. No. 24, 1862.)

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DESERTERS.

636. DESERTION is one of the most serious military crimes that a soldier can commit, and is punishable with death in time of war, and is the only offence for which flogging is now allowed, in time of peace, in the army.  Nor can a soldier ever free himself from the penalties of desertion except by surrendering himself for trial or trusting to pardon.  He is constantly liable to be apprehended by anyone who may be tempted by the reward offered; and the constant fear which a deserter must experience should deter the soldier from the act, and make him bear with the hardships to which he may be temporarily exposed.

637. Desertion consists in leaving the command with the intention of not returning to it, after having been duly enlisted or mustered into service.  It is only necessary that the soldier shall have received pay in some form to make him guilty of the crime of desertion (Art. 20) before enlistment, if he leaves the service without proper authority.

638. The reward now offered for deserters is thirty dollars.  Any one may apprehend a deserter and claim the reward.  The expenses of his apprehension are charged against him, and he is required to make good the time lost by his desertion, even when he is restored to duty without trial.  The officer who has authority to order a court-martial to try a deserter is competent to restore him to duty without trial; and it is sometimes done with the conditions that he forfeit all pay and allowances due him up to the date of his surrender or apprehension, and that he make good his time lost, and pay the expenses of his apprehension.

639. A soldier cannot absent himself from his company or command without exposing himself to the penalties of desertion, without some authority in writing, as an order, furlough, pass, permit, or something to show that he is on duty or has permission.

640. A soldier wishing to be absent, if for two or three days or a certain number of hours, should provide himself with a pass or permit in the following form, which is written out and presented for signature to the officers indicated, and in the order of signature:—

 

FORT SCOTT, KANSAS, Jan. 1, 1862.

 

Private John Smith, Company A, 1st U.S. Infantry, has permission to be absent for the purpose of (here state the object of the absence) until Retreat.

 

JOHN BROWN,

1st Sergt. Co. A, 1st U.S. Infantry.

 

A_______ B_______,

Capt. Co. A, 1st U.S. Infantry.

 

Approved, J_______ B_______,

Col. 1st U.S. Infantry, Commanding.

 

641. Sometimes the orders may require the pass to be signed by the brigade or division commander, or even still higher authority.  Orders are usually issued in each army regulating the matter of passes and furloughs, and are changed from time to time, according to circumstances.

642. For longer periods, furloughs are given according to a form, page 34, Revised Regulations.  Blanks for furloughs are usually to be had at regimental or post head-quarters.

643. Soldiers should bear in mind that unless they return punctually at the expiration of their pass or furlough, they are liable to be treated as deserters.  Soldiers are entitled to commutation for their rations whilst absent on furlough, if not drawn in kind from the commissary.

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OBEDIENCE TO ORDERS.

644. OBEDIENCE to the orders of their superiors is enjoined upon officers and enlisted men, and the instances are extremely rare where an inferior can assume the responsibility of disobeying the orders of his superior.  The illegality of the orders may sometimes be so apparent that an inferior can assume the responsibility of disobeying them; but, as a rule, such a course would involve him in greater difficulties than to obey them.

645. Generally, however, soldiers are liable to act upon some erroneous impression that they are required to do more than their proper share of duty, and that, therefore, the officer has no right to require such duty from them.  In such cases, the proper course for the soldier is to obey the order, and complain of the injustice of the treatment afterward.  It must be an order manifestly illegal that can justify positive disobedience.

646. Disobedience of orders is a serious offence, and is even punishable with death. (Art. 9.)  It must, however, be a lawful order; but the party required to execute the order is the last person entitled to decide upon its legality.  It is probable that the person ordering is the most competent to decide this point.  There are many orders which may be improper on the part of the superior that the inferior could not therefore assume the responsibility of disobeying.  As a rule, in such cases, the responsibility rests with the officer giving the order.

647. An order, when it is legal, is binding upon the person to whom it is given, whether made by a corporal or a general.  The latter has more power to enforce his order than the former, but obedience is due as much to one as to the other.

648. In the execution of orders, much depends upon a correct understanding of them, as also upon giving them in a clear and decisive manner.  A good officer, having a perfect understanding of what he wishes done, will give his orders in a clear and distinct manner, and will take pains to see that they are understood; whilst, on the other hand, a good soldier will not start to execute an order until he understands fully what he has got to do, and then, if conscientious, will execute it to the best of his ability.

649. Important orders should always be written; and non-commissioned officers and soldiers are recommended to carry a memorandum-book and pencil, and always write down their orders and instructions: it serves the memory, and the order is obtained correct.

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ARTICLES OF WAR.

650. SOLDIERS should know that the Articles of War are a code of laws passed by Congress for the government of the army.  The most of them prescribe penalties for certain crimes and offences.  The Articles of War were nearly all passed at one time, but many laws have been made since, from time to time, that are of the same nature, and have all the force of the Articles of War.

651. Article 101 prescribes that the Articles of War shall be read and published once in every six months to every garrison, regiment, troop, or company mustered, or to be mustered, into the service of the United States.  This article is rarely complied with, but no one can claim immunity from them because they have not been published as required.  The Regulations for the Army are often confounded with the Articles of War; but they do not have the same force, and are liable to be changed at any time by the Secretary of War in general orders.

652. The following are all the Articles affecting soldiers; and they should be carefully read and studied by every enlisted man in the service.  With the exception of 10, 20, and 87, they remain unchanged.  The changes are indicated by the notes appended.

 

ART. 2. It is earnestly recommended to all officers and soldiers diligently to attend divine service; and all officers who shall behave indecently or irreverently at any place of divine worship shall, if commissioned officers, be brought before a general court-martial, there to be publicly and severely reprimanded by the President; if non-commissioned officers or soldiers, every person so offending shall, for his first offence, forfeit one-sixth of a dollar, to be deducted out of his next pay; for the second offence, he shall not only forfeit a like sum, but be confined twenty-four hours; and for every like offence, shall suffer and pay in like manner; which money, so forfeited, shall be applied, by the captain or senior officer of the troop or company, to the use of the sick soldiers of the company or troop to which the offender belongs.

ART. 3. Any non-commissioned officer or soldier who shall use any profane oath or execration, shall incur the penalties expressed in the foregoing article; and a commissioned officer shall forfeit and pay, for each and every such offense, one dollar, to be applied as in the preceding article.

ART. 5. Any officer or soldier who shall use contemptuous or disrespectful words against the President of the United States, against the Vice-President thereof, against the Congress of the United States, or against the Chief Magistrate or Legislature of any of the United States, in which he may be quartered, if a commissioned officer, shall be cashiered, or otherwise punished, as a court-martial shall direct; if a non-commissioned officer or soldier, he shall suffer such punishment as shall be inflicted on him by the sentence of a court-martial.

ART. 6. Any officer or soldier who shall behave himself with contempt or disrespect toward his commanding officer, shall be punished, according to the nature of his offence, by the judgment of a court-martial.

ART. 7. Any officer or soldier who shall begin, excite, cause, or join in, any mutiny or sedition, in any troop or company in the service of the United States, or in any party, post, detachment, or guard, shall suffer death, or such other punishment as by a court-martial shall be inflicted.

ART. 8. Any officer, non-commissioned officer, or soldier, who being present at any mutiny or sedition, does not use his utmost endeavor to suppress the same, or, coming to the knowledge of any intended mutiny does not, without delay, give information thereof to his commanding officer, shall be punished by the sentence of a court-martial with death, or otherwise, according to the nature of his offence.

ART. 9. Any officer or soldier who shall strike his superior officer, or draw or lift up any weapon, or offer any violence against him, being in the execution of his office, on any pretence whatsoever, or shall disobey any lawful command of his superior officer, shall suffer death, or such other punishment as shall, according to the nature of his offence, be inflicted upon him by the sentence of a court-martial.

ART. 10. Every non-commissioned officer or soldier, who shall enlist himself in the service of the United States, shall, at the time of his so enlisting, or within six days afterward, have the Articles for the government of the armies of the United States read to him, and shall, by the officer who enlisted him, or by the commanding officer of the troop or company into which he was enlisted, be taken before the next justice of the peace, or chief magistrate of any city or town corporate, not being an officer of the army,[****] or where recourse cannot be had to the civil magistrate, before the judge advocate, and in his presence shall take the following oath or affirmation: ‘I, A. B., do solemnly swear, or affirm (as the case may be), that I will bear true allegiance to the United States of America, and that I will serve them honestly and faithfully against all their enemies or opposers whatsoever; and observe and obey the orders of the President of the United States, and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the Rules and Articles for the government of the armies of the United States.’  Which justice, magistrate, or judge advocate is to give to the officer a certificate, signifying that the man enlisted did take the said oath or affirmation.

ART. 11. After a non-commissioned officer or soldier shall have been duly enlisted and sworn, he shall not be dismissed the service without a discharge in writing; and no discharge granted to him shall be sufficient which is not signed by a field officer of the regiment to which he belongs, or commanding officer, where no field officer of the regiment is present; and no discharge shall be given to a non-commissioned officer or soldier before his term of service has expired, but by order of the President, the Secretary of War, the commanding officer of a department, or the sentence of a general court-martial; nor shall a commissioned officer be discharged the service but by order of the President of the United States, or by sentence of a general court-martial.

ART. 12. Every colonel, or other officer commanding a regiment, troop, or company, and actually quartered with it, may give furloughs to non-commissioned officers or soldiers, in such numbers, and for so long a time, as he shall judge to be most consistent with the good of the service; and a captain, or other inferior officer, commanding a troop or company, or in any garrison, fort, or barrack of the United States (his field officer being absent), may give furloughs to non-commissioned officers or soldiers, for a time not exceeding twenty days in six months, but not to more than two persons to be absent at the same time, expecting some extraordinary occasion should require it.

ART. 20. All officers and soldiers who have received pay, or have been duly enlisted in the service of the United States, and shall be convicted of having deserted the same, shall suffer death, or such other punishment as, by sentence of a court-martial, shall be inflicted.[††††]

ART. 21. Any non-commissioned officer or soldier who shall, without leave from his commanding officer, absent himself from his troop, company, or detachment, shall upon being convicted thereof, be punished according to the nature of his offence, at the discretion of a court-martial.


[****] By Sect. 11 of Chap. 38, August 3, 1861, the oath of enlistment and re-enlistment may be administered by any commissioned officer of the army.

[††††] No officer or soldier in the army of the United States shall be subject to the punishment of death, for desertion in time of peace. —Act 29th. May, 1830.


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Transcribed by Scott Gutzke, 2006.


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