War of the Rebellion: Serial 011 Page 0270 KY.,TENN.,N.MISS.,N.ALA.,AND SW.VA. Chapter XXII.

Search Civil War Official Records

posted to fight, but for watching the approaches of an enemy at sufficient distance out to give early warning of danger. Generally they will keep under cover themselves at points where they have a long field, or road, or path ahead. The picket guard must always keep out vedettes, who must be either be in the saddle or standing to horse. They must never allow themselves to be surprised, night or day. The officer of picket must always, before resting, make a circuit about his station, so as to be well informed of all approaches, as well as roads and paths, leading back to camp, and must report to headquarters or nearest camp all suspicious acts or signs of an enemy. They must be careful, however, to give no unnecessary alarm, as quiet and rest are essential to the health and usefulness of an army.

V. The moment the halt or camp is indicated to a battery off artillery the commander will come into battery, unlimber, guns pointed toward the enemy, horses unbridled or unharnessed as the case may require, guards posted, and tarpaulins spread, the water for horses and men looked to, and forage provided. Every opportunity at a halt during a march should be taken advantage of to cut grass, wheat, or oats, and extraordinary care taken of the horses, on which everything depends.

The commander should at once study his ground, mark well the field of fire, and improve it by cutting away limbs and bushes or moving logs. There is no branch of service that calls for harder work and keener intelligence than the artillery, and no excuse will ever be received for the want of a proper degree of foresight in providing for all necessities and preparation at all times for battle.

VI. But the grand guard is the most important feature of an army in the field. The instructions laid down in the Army Regulations are minute, and must be carefully studied by all officers and explained to the men. The commanding general has frequently found sentinels negligent, sitting down, or even asleep, and has invariably been told by the sentinel "he did not know any better;" "had never been told by his officer," &c. This will never do. Every sentinel must know that at least he should be well armed and wide awake, and the officers should not give the men an opportunity to plead ignorance. Each sentinel should have plain instructions when posted what he should do, especially the points he is to watch, the manner of the challenging at night, and the length of his turn of duty. Sergeants and corporals must be active, and must hasten to the sentinel when he calls, for if threatened no sentinel should leave his post; but the officer commanding the guard should alone judge when a sentinel is too much exposed. Sentinels must be warned against spies, and citizens must not pass within or without our lines without special authority. Better prohibit all citizens from traveling than to allow an enemy to gather information by their spies, who will resort to all manner of cunning to penetrate our camps to judge of our strength and of our plans. When citizens approach our lines they should be politely but firmly told they must go home and stay there. If they have business or information for headquarters, they should be passed there under guard.

VII. As a rule all private property of citizens must be respected, but if forage or feed be needed, and the parties are unwilling to sell at fair prices, the division or brigade quartermaster and commissaries may take and account for as though purchased. They will give the owner a receipt for the amount taken, specifying on the face of it that the claim cannot be transferred, and payment will be made at the convenience of the Government of proof of loyalty.

This order will be furnished each regiment and read at evening