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C.R. Woods, Special Orders No. 76 , April 28, 1865


C.R. Woods, Special Orders No. 76 , April 28, 1865


Special Orders, No. 76 was issued by Union general C.R. Woods of the 40th Illinois Regiment, two days after the surrender by Confederate General Joseph Johnston to Union Generals Ulysses S. Grant and William Sherman at the Bennett’s farmhouse in Durham. Johnston’s surrender ended much of the war on the East Coast, particularly for Sherman’s men. Special Orders No. 76, called for an end of unauthorized foraging, and when foraging occurred, citizens had to be compensated. Special Orders No. 76 also instituted a policy revoking Special Field Orders No. 56, which had authorized the killing of surplus animals, which now was no longer allowed. The order also instituted a policy which allowed for stragglers who wrongfully entered homes or yards, to be punished, which previously did not happen while the war was going on. Special Orders No. 76 was significant as it signaled the end of foraging, the burning of homes, and the destroying of property that occurred before Johnston’s surrender. The order helped show that previous actions had been carried out, just as acts of war and nothing more. The order now called off the often questionable acts as the war was now over for those under Sherman’s control. The main image is of the Executive Mansion of North Carolina that Union General William Sherman occupied in Raleigh when he marched through.


C. R. Woods


C.R. Woods, Special Orders No. 76 , April 28, 1865, in The War of Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies; Series I, Vol. XLVII, Part III (Washington D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1895), 338-339.






Raleigh, North Carolina

Wake County, North Carolina

Original Format

Government Document


Near Raleigh, N. C., April 28, 1865.

* * * * *

V. During the march from Raleigh, N. C., to Washington, D. C., via Richmond, full rations of hard bread or flour, meat, coffee, and salt, and half rations of sugar will be issued to the troops. No foraging will be allowed excepting by permission from these headquarters and everything taken must be paid for. The division quartermaster will see to the collection of forage for all the authorized animals in the division, giving vouchers (written with ink) to all from whom corn or fodder is taken. The division commissary will see to the collecting of bacon and beef for the command, giving vouchers for all taken, and being careful to leave an ample supply with the families. Private property of every description, horses, mules, harness, wagons, &c., will be respected. Straggling will be severely punished, and brigade commanders will, by a system of roll-calls and otherwise, take every precaution to prevent this evil. The troops must be kept in ranks while on the march, nor will any enlisted man be permitted to leave the column without authority from his regiment commanders. All unauthorized men found away from the line of march within any house, yard, garden, or inclosure, except to obtain water, will be promptly arrested by the mounted patrol or safeguard and turned over to the rear guard for punishment, at the discretion of the general commanding. There will be an advance guard leading the division each day, whose duty shall be the establishing of safeguards over the dwellings and property along the route, preventing of all straggling toward the head of the column, and enforcement of these orders with the utmost rigor. There will also be a strong rear guard, the duty of which will be to keep the rear of the column constantly well closed up, to prevent straggling toward the rear, to promptly arrest any offender who may violate these orders, and to receive all prisoners that may be turned over by the division during the day. These will, on reaching camp at night, be given to the hands of the division provost-marshal. Brigade commanders will march their command with rear guards for regiments as well as brigades, it being the duty of these guards to keep the column well closed, and to enforce existing orders in regard to the conduct of the troops on the march. This order will be read to every regiment and detachment in the division.

By order of Bvt. Major General C. R. Woods:


Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.


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Raleigh Executive Mansion.jpg


C. R. Woods, C.R. Woods, Special Orders No. 76 , April 28, 1865, Civil War Era NC, accessed April 17, 2024,