Clarksville, deeming it of vital importance that we should be re-enforced at an earlier day than my own troops can arrive. Steamers coming up should bring a full supply of fuel. None can be had on the river or here. Please let me know at once what your information is of the movements of the enemy. It is stated, on seemingly good authority, that the enemy has evacuated Columbus or is doing so.
D. C. BUELL,
GENERAL ORDERS, HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO, Numbers 13 a.
Nashville, Tenn., February 26, 1862.
The general commanding congratulates his troops that it has been their privilege to restore the national banner to the capital of Tennessee. He believes that thousands of hearts in every part of the State will swell with joy to see that honored flag reinstated in a position from which it was removed in the excitement and folly of an evil hour; that the voice of her own people will soon proclaim its welcome, and that their manhood and patriotism will protect and perpetuate it.
The general does not deem it necessary, though the occasion is a fit one, to remind his troops of the rule of conduct they have hitherto observed and are still to pursue. We are in arms, not for the purpose of invading the rights of our fellow-countrymen anywhere, but to maintain the integrity of the Union and protect the Constitution under which its people have been prosperous and happy. We cannot, therefore, look with indifference on any conduct which is designed to give aid and comfort to those who are endeavoring to defeat these objects; but the action to be taken in such cases rests with certain authorized persons, and is not to be assumed by individual officers or soldiers. Peaceable citizens are ot to be molested in their persons or property. Any wrongs to either are to be promptly corrected and the offenders brought to punishment. To this end all persons are desired to make complaint to the immediate commander of officers or soldiers so offending, and if justice be not done promptly, then to the next commander, and so on until the wrong is redressed. If the necessities of the public service should require the use of private property for public purposes, fair compensation is to be allowed. No such appropriation of private property is to be made except by the authority of the highest commander present,a nd any other officer or soldier who shall presume to exercise such privilege shall be brought to trial. Soldiers are forbidden to enter the residences or ground of citizens on any plea without authority.
No arrests are to be made without the authority of the commanding general, except in case of actual offense against the authority of the Government; and in all such cases the fact and circumstances will immediately be reported in writing to headquarters thought he intermediate commanders.
The general reminds his officers that the most frequent depredations are those which are committed by worthless characters, who straggle from the ranks on the plea of being unable to march; and where the inability really exists, it will be found in most instances that the soldier has overloaded himself with useless and unauthorized articles. The orders already published on this subject must be enforced.
The condition and behavior of a corps are sure indications of the efficiently and fitness of its officers. If any regiment shall be found to disregard that propriety of conduct which belongs to soldiers as well as