Thursday, March 5, 2015

"General Orders 100" Painting by Mort Kunstler

"LINCOLN AND THE LIEBER CODE, April 1863.  On May 27, 1863, President Lincoln instructed Union General John M. Schofield: 'Let your military measures be strong enough to repel the invader and keep the peace, and not so strong as to unnecessarily harass and persecute the people.'

"His message invoked the recently reacted Liever Code, the first formal codification of behavior for the U.S. Army during the war.  Officially titled Instructions for the Government of Armies of the United States in the Field, General Order No. 100, it became the basis for all international treaties and forever changed the behavior of militaries worldwide.

"Lincoln considered an official code of conduct an absolute necessity to maintain order and a sense of decency among the ranks.  He commissioned Francis Lieber to develop policies for martial law, military jurisdiction, punishment of spies/deserters and the treatment of prisoners of war.

"The Lieber Code was adopted on April 24, 1863, before Lincoln's pertinent cabinet members and military. including Brigadier General Joseph Holt, the Judge Advocate General of the Army."

I'd never heard of this before.  Thanks, Mr. Kunstler.  When I first saw the print on the calendar, my first thought was of that famous painting of Lincoln and his cabinet discussing the Emancipation Proclamation, perhaps the greatest political move in history.  I wonder how it was used in occupied territory and at Camp Douglas in Chicago?

--Old Secesh

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