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Refreshing-- taking responsibility

GENERAL ORDERS, HDQRs. DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA, No. 5. New Berne, N. C., May 3, 1864. While the troops of this command may exult and take just pride in their many victories over the enemy, yet a portion of them have within a few days been guilty of an outrage against humanity, which brings the blush of shame to the cheek of every true man and sol- dier. It is well known that during the late evacuation of Washington, N. C., that town was fired, and nearly, if not entirely, consumed, thus wantonly rendering houseless and homeless hundreds of poor women and children, many of them the families of soldiers in our own army, and destiroying the last vestige of the once happy homes of those men who have now given up all to serve their country in her hour of peril. And this was done by men in the military service of the United States. lit is also well known that the army vandals did not even respect the charitable institutions, but bursting open the doors of the Masonic and Odd Fellows lodges, pillaged them both, and hawked about the streets the regalia and jewels. And this, too, by United States troops. It is well known, too, that both public and private stores were entered and plundered, and that devastation and destruction ruled the hour. The commanding general had until this time believed it impossi- ble that any troops in his command could have committed so dis- graceful an act as this which now blackens the fair fame of the Army of North Carolina. He finds, however, that he was sadly mistaken, and that the ranks are disgraced by men who are not soldiers, but thieves and scoundrels, dead to all sense of honor and humanity, for whom no punishment can be too severe. The commanding general is well aware what troops were in the town of Washington when the flames first appeared. He knows what troops last left that place; he knows that in the ranks of only two of the regiments in the District of North Carolina the culprits now stand. To save the reputation of the command it is hoped that the guilty parties may be ferreted out by the officers who were in Washington at the time of these occurrences. This order will be read at the head of every regiment and detachment in this command at dress parade on the day succeeding its re- ceipt, and at the head of the Seventeenth Massachnsetts Volunteers and the Fifteenth Connecticut Volunteers at dress parade every day for ten consecutive days, or until the guilty parties are found. By command of Brig. Gen. I. N. Palmer: J. A. JUDSON, Assistant Adjutant-General.