Massachusetts Cavalry, and shall be greatly straitened for the want of this arm when we debark upon the main-land, the enemy, as usual, being doubtless well supplied with horse.
I would ask, if consistent with the good of the service, that the Sixth United States Cavalry, my own regiment, might be the one sent, myself and Brigadier-General Emory, its lieutenant-colonel, being both detached from it.
Previous to my leaving the department I made last August and application for cavalry in lieu of the two battalions of the first Massachusetts Cavalry then ordered North, stating the absolute necessity that existed here for such troops, and to the terms of that application I must respectfully refer you.
Believe me to remain, general, with sincere respect, your most obedient servant,
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH, Numbers 3.
Hilton Head, Port Royal, S. C., January 20, 1862.
Agreeably to special instructions from the Government the undersigned hereby resumes command of the department of the South. It is with sincere pleasure that the general commanding returns to this department-the brave men of the North, whose destiny has been cast, having never failed, although without many opportunities for great distinction, to do their whole duty when called upon-as witness Port Royal, Pulaski, James Island, and Pocotaligo, names to which every soldier of the command may look back with pride. Although not always successful-a thing depending on causes often beyond their control-they have the fully equal merit of always having deserved success. In view of the active operations about to commence in this department the general commanding would remind officers and enlisted men of the absolute necessity of a strict, prompt, and unquestioning obedience to all orders. Without implicit, complete, and hearty obedience an army is a mere mob. With discipline there is safety, honor, and the full assurance of being able to render substantial service to our country. The general commanding would deeply regret should a single man be killed while barely deserting his colors; but he would remind all officers that it is their imperative duty instantly to put to death any officer or enlisted men who shall be found deserting his brave comrades who are doing their duty in front. Each officer who may find it necessary to execute this prompt punishment of the service may permit, report what he has done to these headquarters, giving the name of the traitor slain and of such witnesses as can prove the justification of the penalty.
No officer or soldier will leave the battle-field for the purpose of taking off the wounded, who will be much better attended to by the ambulance men and the nurses. Poor wounded men, helpless in the hands of their torturers, are often mangled to death while being improperly carried from the battle-field by renegades, who use the pretense of humanity as a cloak for their anxiety to secure their own safety, regardless of the sufferings of their victims. The attention of all commanding officers in this department is urgently drawn to General Orders, Numbers 26, from these headquarters, dated Hilton Head, Port Royal, S. C., August 15, series of 1862, and the same will be read at the head of each brigade,