The Official Rules of Modern Warfare
In 1863, at the height of the Civil War and at the behest of the War Department, the distinguished political scientist Francis Lieber undertook a codification of existing international law on the rules of land warfare. The War Department published Lieber’s work as A Code for the Government of Armies in the Field and instructed Union soldiers to conduct themselves according to its conclusions. The code’s guiding principle was as follows: “Men who take up arms against one another in public war do not cease on this account to be moral beings, responsible to one another and to God.”
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