picket post and sentry once each night between 12 o'clock and daylight.
5. When a day signal of recognition has been arranged for any picket line it will be demanded as soon as the parties see each other. At night parties approaching will be halted at a distance of 60 yards, if practicable, in a loud, distinct tone, and the signal demanded. The party challenged will then require a response from the challenging party; this made, the latter will order the former to advance and give the countersign. Commanders of outposts will be careful not to prevent or delay the passing of cavalry pickets or couriers with dispatches; but when reasonable doubts arise as to the character of the party, he must be sent under charge of guard at once to the headquarters of the nearest general officer. A mounted man will not be required to dismount to give the countersign after having made the proper signal, nor will the countersign be required in the daytime. Great circumspection must be exercised in the use of signals to prevent their observation by lurking spies of the enemy.
6. An approach of the enemy must be resisted by the pickets as obstinately as practicable. The ground must only be yielded before an overwhelming force. They will then retire, fighting, on the reserve, where a stand will be made as long as practicable. If forced to retire, they will take up successive positions behind all advantageous shelter, and resolutely check and retard the advance of the enemy as long as possible. The best marksmen will be selected to cover the rear while thus falling back, who will fire with deliberation as they retire. If pressed closely by the enemy, the command must be brought, if possible, to charge with the bayonet. The utmost care must be taken to prevent the men from crowding en masse in falling back, as they will offer a target for artillery, and the men must be cautioned against and prevented from making a precipitate retreat from an outpost under any circumstances.
7. While on outpost duty, no officer or soldier will be permitted to leave the outpost without express authority from the commander, except upon a surgeon's certificate. Commanders of outposts must remain constantly during the tour with their reserve, except when visiting the picket posts and sentries, in which case they will leave these instructions with the officer next in command.
8. In marching to and from outposts the utmost order and discipline will be preserved. No straggling must be permitted.
9. As soon as the pickets may become seriously engaged with the enemy any baggage at the post of the reserve will be immediately sent to the rear to the baggage of the brigade to which the detachment belongs. Troops on outpost service are expected to bivouac.
10. As soon as the enemy shall have developed with certainty a design to advance the commanders of outposts will at once dispatch couriers to the general commanding the corps or division to which the outpost belongs, giving information of the movements of the enemy, his probable strength, kind of force, and whether moving rapidly or not, route or routes taken, and such other information as may be of service. The report of mere rumored movements must always be avoided, or at least distinguished from what may be ascertained by the military.
11. The commander of each outpost will publish these orders every tour, before establishing his picket post or posting his picket sentries. They will likewise be read to each company or detachment of the line