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No. 40        }

I. In accordance with General Orders No. 81, Headquarters of the Army, Adjutant General's Office, Washington, D. C., August 27th, 1867, Major General W. S. Hancock herby assumes command of the Fifth Military District, and the Department composed of the States of Louisiana and Texas.

II. The General Commanding is gratified to learn that peace and quiet reign in this Department. It will be his purpose to preserve this condition of things. As a means to this great end he regards the maintenance of the civil authorities in the faithful execution of the laws, as the most efficient, under existing circumstances.

In war it is indispensable to repel force by force, and overthrow and destroy opposition to lawful authority. But when insurrectionary force has been overthrown, and peace established, and the civil authorities are ready and willing to perform their duties, the military power should cease to lead, and the civil administration resume its natural and rightful dominion. Solemnly impressed with these views, the General announces that the great principles of American liberty still are the lawful inheritance of this people, and ever should be. The right of trial by jury, Habeas Corpus, the liberty of the press, the freedom of speech and the natural right of persons and the rights of property must be preserved.

Free institutions, while they are essential to the prosperity and happiness of the people, always furnish the strongest inducements to peace and order. Crimes and offenses committed in this District must be referred to the consideration and judgement of the regular civil tribunals, and those tribunals will be supported in their lawful jurisdiction.

Should there be violations of existing laws which are not inquired into by the civil magistrates, or should failures in the administration of justice by the courts be complained of, the cases will be reported to these Headquarters, when such orders will be made as may be deemed necessary.

While the General thus indicates his purpose to respect the liberties of the people, he wishes all to understand that armed insurrections or forcible resistance to the law will be suppressed by arms.

By Command of Major General W. W. Hancock: W. G. MITCHELL, Bvt. Lieut. Col. Act'g Ass't Adj't General.

OFFICIAL: [[?]] [[?]]
[[crossed out]]2d Lieut. 27th Inf'y, Bvt. 1st. Lient. U.S. Army, Acting Assistant Adjutant General.[[/crossed out]]
1st Lieut 7 Infy Bvt Copl USA, AsstG

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