HEADQUARTERS ARMY IN THE FIELD, Commerce, February 27, 1862.
I march to-morrow morning with a force about 10,000 strong and will be in front of New Madrid on Sunday evening or Monday morning. Have requested General Cullum to advance strong force, under Steele, as far as Oak Grove, to cover my flank and serve as a reserve in case of need. Most of the regimental baggage left here for want of transportation. Hope wagons will be sent here to bring it forward. Would suggest movement of gun and mortar boats toward Columbus on Sunday, to operate until I have occupied New Madrid.
SAINT LOUIS, February 27, 1862.
General Pope should be flanked as he desires, but General Steele must be sent here, as he is ordered.
H. W. HALLECK,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI, Saint Louis, February 27, 1862.
Brigadier General JOHN POPE,
Wagons and everything else are being sent to you as rapidly as possible; also re-enforcements. Move on as fast possible; a reserve will sustain you. You have 10,000. If necessary I will sustain you with fire, ten, fifteen, or even twenty thousand. The object must be accomplished if it requires 50,000 men.
H. W. HALLECK,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE MISSOURI, Numbers 49.
Saint Louis, Mo., February 27, 1862.
Official information has been received that the rebel troops, in evacuating Mud Town, Ark., poisoned the provisions which they were obliged to abandon, and that 42 officers and men of one of our regiments were poisoned by eating these provisions. One brave officer and several men have died and others have suffered terribly from this barbarous act-an act condemned by every civilized nation, ancient and modern.
We cannot retaliate by adopting the same barbarous mode of warfare, nor can we retaliate by punishing the innocent for the acts of the guilty. The laws of war forbid this. But the same code authorizes us to retaliate upon the guilty parties. Any personguilty of such acts, when captured, will not be treated as ordinary prisoners of war; they will not be shot, but will suffer the ignominoius punishment of being hung as felons. Moreover, all officers are in a measure responsible for the acts of the troops under their command. Officers of troops guilty of such acts, although not themselves the advisers or abettors of crime, will therefore, when captured, be put in irons, and conveyed as crimi-