HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,

JALAPA, April 30, 1847

GENERAL ORDERS

No. 128

(Extract)

7.  As the season is near when the army may no longer expect to derive supplies from Vera Cruz, it must begin to look, exclusively, to the resources of the country.

8.  Those resources, far from being over-abundant, near the line of operations, would soon fail to support both the army and the population, unless they be gathered in without waste and regularly issued by the quartermasters and commissaries.

9.  Hence, they must be paid for, or the people will withhold, conceal or destroy them.  The people, moreover, must be conciliated, soothed, or well treated by every officer and man of this army, and by all the followers.

10.  Accordingly, whoever maltreats unoffending Mexicans; takes, without pay, or wantonly destroys their property, of any kind whatsoever, will prolong the war, waste the means, present and future, of subsisting our own men and animals as they successively advance into the interior, or return to our water depot; and no army can possibly drag after it, to any considerable distance—no matter what the season of the year—they heavy articles of bread stuffs, meat and forage.

11.  Those, therefore, who rob, plunder or destroy the houses, fences, cattle, poultry, grain, fields, gardens, or property of any kind, along the line of our operations, are plainly the enemies of this army.  The General-in-Chief would infinitely prefer that the few who commit such outrages, should desert at once, and fight against us—Then it would be easy to shoot them down, or to capture and hang them.

12.  Will the great body of intelligent, gallant and honorable men who compose this army, tolerate the few miscreants who perpetrate such crimes?  Again, the General-in-Chief confidently hopes not.  Let then the guilty be promptly seized and brought to condign punishment, or the good must suffer the consequences, in supplies and loss of character, of crimes not their own….

By Command of Major General Scott:

(Signed)  H. L. Scott

                A. A. A. G.

Source:  Military Government under General Winfield Scott, The Provost Marshal General’s School, Organized Reserve Corps, Training Packet No. 58, pp. 26-7.

stevenhardestyMore war storiesMexican War,military governmentHEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, JALAPA, April 30, 1847 GENERAL ORDERS No. 128 (Extract) 7.  As the season is near when the army may no longer expect to derive supplies from Vera Cruz, it must begin to look, exclusively, to the resources of the country. 8.  Those resources, far from being over-abundant, near the line of...Recovering forgotten and overlooked military history