GENERAL ORDERS, NO 32.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
Saint Louis, Mo., December 22, 1861.
I. Insurgent rebels scattered through the northern counties of this State which are occupied by our troops under the guise of peaceful citizens have resumed their occupation of burning bridges and destroying railroads and telegraph wires. These men are guilty of the highest crime known to the code of war and the punishment is death. Any one caught in the act will be immediately shot, and any one accused of this crime will be arrested and placed in close confinement until his case can be examined by a military commission and if found guilty he also will suffer death.
II. Where injuries are done to railroads or telegraph lines the commanding officer of the nearest post will immediately impress into service for repairing damages the slaves of all secessionists in the vicinity and if necessary the secessionists themselves and their property. Any pretended Union man having information of intended attempts to destroy such roads and lines or of the guilty parties who does not communicate such intention to the proper authorities and give aid and assistance in arresting and punishing them will be regarded as particeps criminis and treated accordingly.
III. Hereafter the towns and counties in which such destruction of public property takes place will be made to pay the expenses of all repairs unless it be shown that the people of such towns or counties could not have prevented it on account of the superior force of the enemy.
By order of Major-General Halleck:
J. C. KELTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.