The Retaliatory Act, Confederate Congress, May 1, 1863

Source citation
Reprinted in Frank Moore, ed., The Rebellion Record: A Diary of American Events, with Documents, Narratives, Illustrative Incidents, Poetry, Etc. (New York: G.P.Putnam, 1863), VI: 578-579. 
Author (from)
The Confederate Congress, Richmond, Virginia
Type
Legislative record
Date Certainty
Exact
Transcriber
John Osborne
Transcription date
The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print. Spelling and typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.
Resolved, by the Congress of the Confederate States of America, in response to the message of the President, transmitted to Congress at the commencement of the present session, that in the opinion of Congress the commissioned officers of the enemy ought not to be delivered to the authorities of the respective States, as suggested in the said message; but all captives taken by the confederate forces ought to be dealt with and disposed of by the confederate government.
Sec. 2. That, in the judgment of Congress, the Proclamations of the President of the United States, dated respectively September twentysecond, eighteen hundred and sixty-two, and January first, eighteen hundred and sixty-three, and the other measures of the Government of the United States and of its authorities, commanders and forces, designed or tending to emancipate slaves in the confederate States, or to abduct such slaves, or to incite them to insurrection, or to employ negroes in war against the confederate States, or to overthrow the institution of African slavery and bring on a servile war in these States, would, if successful, produce atrocious consequences, and they are inconsistent with the spirit of those usages which in modern warfare prevail among civilized nations; they may, therefore, be properly and lawfully repressed by retaliation.
Sec. 3. That in every case wherein, during the present war, any violation of the laws or usages of war among civilized nations shall be, or has been, done and perpetrated by those acting under the authority of the Government of the United States, on the persons or property of citizens of the confederate States, or of those under the protection or in the land or naval service of the confederate States, or of any State of the Confederacy, the President of the confederate States is hereby authorized to cause full and complete retaliation to be made for every such violation, in such manner and to such extent as he may think proper.
Sec. 4. That every white person, being a commissioned officer, or acting as such, who, during the present war, shall command negroes or mulattoes in arms against the confederate States, or who shall arm, train, organize, or prepare negroes or mulattoes for military service against the confederate States, or who shall voluntarily aid negroes or mulattoes in any military enterprise, attack, or conflict in such service, shall be deemed as inciting servile insurrection, and shall, if captured, be put to death, or be otherwise punished at the discretion of the court
Sec 5. Every person, being a commissioned officer, or acting as such in the service of the enemy, who shall, during the present war, excite, attempt to excite or cause to be excited servile insurrection, or who shall incite or cause to be incited a slave to rebel, shall, if captured, be put to death, or be otherwise punished at the discretion of the court.
Sec 6. Every person charged with an offence punishable under the preceding resolutions shall, during the present war, be tried before the military court attached to the army or corps by the troops of which he shall have been captured, or by such other military court as the President may direct, and in such manner and under such regulations as the President shall prescribe, and, after conviction, the President may commute the punishment in such manner and on such terms as he may deem proper.
Sec. 7. All negroes and mulattoes who shall be engaged in war or taken in arms against the confederate States, or shall give aid or comfort to the enemies of the Confederate States, shall, when captured in the Confederate States, be delivered to the authorities of the State or States in which they shall be captured, to be dealt with according to the present or future laws of such State or States.
 
Approved May 1, 1863. 
How to Cite This Page: "The Retaliatory Act, Confederate Congress, May 1, 1863," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, https://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/index.php/node/39620.