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General Orders for Nauvoo Legion, 4 May 1841

NAUVOO LEGION.
Head-Quarters, Nauvoo Legion,)
City of Nauvoo Ill. May 4, A. D. 1841)
GENERAL ORDERS.
Pursuant to an act of the Court Mar tial, the troops attached or belonging to  the Legion, will parade at the place of  general rendezvous, in the City of Nau voo, for drill, review, and inspection, on  Saturday, the 3rd day of July proximo.  at half past 9 o’clock, A. M., armed  and equipped according to law.
At 10 o’clock the line will be form ed, and the general officers conducted  to their posts, under a fire of artillery.
The commandants of the 1st and 2nd  companies. 2nd Battallion, 1st Regi ment, 2nd Cohort, are directed to enroll  every man residing within the bounds  of their respective commands, and not  attached to any other company of the  Legion, between the ages of 18 and 45  years, and notify them of their attach ment to the service, and their legal lia bilities.
As will be seen by the following le gal opinion of Judge Douglass [Stephen A. Douglas], of the  Supreme Court of the State of Illinois,  than whom no man stands more deser vedly high in the public estimation, as  an able and profound jurist, politician,  and statesman; the officers and privates,  belonging to the Legion are exempt  from all military duty not required by  the legally constituted authorities there of; they are therefore expressly inhib ited from performing any military ser vices not ordered by the general offi cers, or directed by the Court Martial.
City of Nauvoo, Ill.,)
May 3rd, A. D. 1841.)
Dear Sir: In reply to your re quest, I have examined so much of the  Nauvoo City Charter, and legislative  acts, as relate to the “Nauvoo Legion,”  and am clearly of opinion that “any  citizen of Hancock County who may  attach himself to the ‘Nauvoo Legion’  has all the privileges which appertain  to that independent military body,” and  is “exempt from all other military du ty,” as provided in the 25th section of  the City-charter; and cannot, therefore,  be fined by any military or civil court,  for neglecting or refusing to parade  with any other military body, or un der the command of any officers who  are not attached to said Legion. The  language of the laws upon this subject  is so plain and specific as to admit of no  doubt as to its true meaning and intent.  I do not consider it necessary, there fore, to enter into an argument to prove  a position which is evident from an in spection of the laws themselves.
I am, very respectfully,
your friend,
The Legion is not, as has been false ly represented by its enemies, exclu sively a Mormon military association,  but a body of citizen-soldiers organized  (without regard to political preferences  or religious sentiments) for the public  defence, the general good, and the pre servation of law and order—to save the  innocent, unoffending citizen from the  iron grasp of the oppressor, and per petuate and sustain our free institu tions against misrule, anarchy, and mob [p. 417]
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JS, General Orders, Nauvoo, IL, to the Nauvoo Legion, Nauvoo, IL, 4 May 1841; in Times and Seasons, 15 May 1841, 2:417–418.

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