The Civil War in Missouri

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Applying for Passes at the Office of the Provost Marshal at St. Louis

From Harper's Weekly, 1862
MHM Library

The practice of issuing passes was used throughout the war as an attempt by military authority to control the movement of people and information. Passes in and out of the district required people to declare that they were “loyal citizen[s] of the United States.” However, the arbitrary nature of martial law meant that these rules often depended on who was enforcing them, sometimes putting well-connected citizens in a better position.