Order by the Commander of the Corps of Observation, Army of the Potomac

Poolesville [Md.]  Sept. 23d 1861.

General Orders No 16   The General Commanding has with great concern learned that in several instances soldiers of this Corps have so far forgotten their duty as to excite and encourage insubordination among the colored servants in the neighbourhood of their camps, in direct violation of the laws of the United States, and of the state of Maryland in which they are serving.

The immediate object of raising and supporting this army was the suppression of rebellion, and the putting down by military power of those ambitious and misguided people, who (unwilling to subject themselves to the constitution and laws of the country) preferred the carrying out of their own ideas of right and wrong, to living in peace and good order under the established Government–  While, therefore, it should be the pride of Every Army to yield instant and complete obedience to the laws of the land, it is peculiarly the duty of Every officer and Enlisted man in this Army to give an example of subordination and perfect obedience to the laws: and to shew to those in rebellion, that loyal national soldiers sink all private opinions in their devotion to law as it stands.  By order of Brig Genl Stone

General Orders No. 16, Head Quarters, Corps of Observation, 23 Sept. 1861, vol. 44/187 2AC, pp. 39–40, General Orders, series 3813, Corps of Observation, Army of the Potomac, U.S. Army Continental Commands, Record Group 393 Pt. 2 No. 242, National Archives.

Published in The Destruction of Slavery, pp. 348–49, and in Free at Last, pp. 12–13.