are excepted from the above restrictions, in so far that they may approve furloughs for soldiers, restricting them to cases of urgent necessity and for short periods of time, and my grant leaves of absence to officers for forty-eight hours to pass beyond the limits of this army..
There are frequent cases of commanding officers ordering individuals to proceed beyond the limits of their superiors' commands without their consent or authority. This practice must be discontinued. The rights of command can only be exercised within the proper sphere of command..
By command of Major-General McClellan:
CAMP BAKER, LOWER POTOMAC, MARYLAND,.
December 20, 1861.
Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS,.
Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:.
GENERAL: In compliance with instructions received from your office this evening, instructions have been given for requisitions to be prepared for forage and subsistence stores for this division for six weeks, They will be forwarded to the proper officers by to-morrow morning's steamer..
A small schooner passing down the river under gentle drew the fire this forenoon of all the rebel batteries. She presented so fair an object, and was gliding along so leisurely, that the enemy were tempted to expend some eighty or ninety shots on her, but she pas- sed them all to expend some eighty or ninety shots on here, but she passed them all unharmed. If ever they should succeed in crippling one of our vessels, and attempt to take it, you must not be surprised to hear of a conflict on the water. It will be necessary to rescue her, whether of any value or not, for the effect it will produce on my troops. If I cannot control their irritation at these frequent exhibitions of power, it appears to me to be my duty to prevent thee witnessing any of its triumphs.
I have received this evening another report from Major Chapman, dated the 18th instant, of the operations of his command in the southern extremity of the State. Inclosed you will receive such extracts from it as will be of interest of value to you.* The prisoner James B. Loker will be forwarded to the provost-marshal in Washington to-morrow morning. Directions will be given for the captured mail and money to be delivered with this report. The property reported as having been taken will be forwarded as soon as received..
The intelligence, energy, and good conduct displayed by Major Chapman and his command in the service in which they are engaged merit and will receive my commendation. .
The Third Indiana Cavalry have been on the wing almost all the time since they joined me, singly and in bodies, and I have yet to learn
of the first irregularity. The conduct of the enlisted men is as exemplary in the absence of authority as it is when present. It seems that no example, no temptation, can lead them astray..
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,.
Brigadier-General, Commanding Division..