mitting your proposition of crossing the river and attacking from the bluffs of Meadow Creek, but have received no reply from him up to this time. As soon as I hear I will write you the result.
I have not had time to converse with the men you sent me fully, but it if be possible to approach the enemy by way of White Oak Creek I should like to have them as guides.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. H. THOMAS,
Brigadier-General, U. S. Army, Commanding.
GENERAL ORDERS, HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF CAIRO, No. 3.
Cairo, January 13, 1862.
During the absence of the expedition now starting upon soil hitherto occupied almost solely by the rebel army, and where it is a fair inference that every stranger is our enemy, the following orders will be observed:
Troops in marching will be kept in the ranks, company officers being held strictly accountable for all stragglers from their companies.
No firing will be allowed in camp or on the march not strictly required in the performance of duty.
Whilst in camp no permits will be granted to officers or soldiers to leave their regimental grounds, and all violations of this order must be promptly and summarily punished.
Disrepute having been brought upon our brave soldiers by the bad conduct of some of their numbers, showing on all occasions when marching through territory occupied by sympathizers of the enemy a total disregard of rights of citizens, and being guilty of wanton destruction of private property, the general commanding desires and intends to enforce a change in this respect.
Interpreting confiscation acts by troops themselves has a demoralizing effect, weakens them in exact proportion to the demoralization, and makes open and armed enemies of many who, from opposite treatment, would become friends, or at most non-combatants.
It is ordered, therefore, that the severest punishment be inflicted upon every soldier who is guilty of taking or destroying private property, and any commissioned officer guilty of like conduct, or of countenancing it, shall be deprived of his sword and expelled from the camp, not to be permitted to return.
On the march cavalry advance guards will be well thrown out; also flank guards or infantry when practicable.
A rear guard of infantry will be required to see that no teams, baggage, or disabled soldiers are left behind.
It will be the duty of company commanders to see that rolls of their companies are called immediately upon going into camp each day and every member accounted for.
U. S. GRANT,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF CAIRO,
Cairo, January 14, 1862.
Captain J. C. KELTON, Saint Louis, Mo.:
The troops from Saint Louis expected to-day have not yet arrived. I have, however, commenced the move directed a few days since without