UNITED STATES MISSISSIPPI SQUADRON,
Cairo, Ill., October 29, 1862.
Honorable GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C.:
SIR: Thinking perhaps General Halleck might be under the impression that the navy would not be ready to operate against Vicksburg until February, I beg leave to inform you that I am quite ready to move at any moment. We have been working night and day since I have been here, anticipating an early movement.
The department are all organized and working well, and I will be able to leave here with the comfort of knowing that everything will be supplied to the squadron.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
DAVID D. PORTER,
Acting Rear-Admiral, Commanding Mississippi Squadron.
GEN'L FIELD ORDERS, HDQRS. L. W. ARMY OF THE TENN.,
In the Field, near Grand Junction,
Numbers 2. November 5, 1862.
I. The plundering and house-burning of the past two day shows that the discipline of this command is becoming seriously impaired. Although these crimes are committed only by those who are "stragglers on the march and skulkers on the battle-field," still all good soldiers share in the odium which such conduct brings upon the army. It is therefore ordered that every effort be made to arrest these thieves and house-burners; that they be immediately tried by a military commission to be detailed by division commanders, and that the sentence, however severe it may be, be promptly executed.
II. Division commanders will hold their regimental commanders strictly responsible for the conduct of their soldiers. Directly after the arms are stacked in camp the roll will be called, and the number of absentees from each regiment will be reported to the division commander. When the army does not march there will be five roll-calls per day, and the absentees reported to the division commander.
III. Officers, of whatever rank or regiment, who do not use all their efforts to repress these gross outrages will be deprived of their commands and confined in the military prison at Alton.
IV. All firing in and about the camps is strictly prohibited; soldiers so offending will be arrested and severely punished. The general commanding regrets that he is forced to use such severity, but it is the only means left him to prevent this army of soldiers from degenerating into an armed mob.
By command of Brigadier General C. S. Hamilton:
JOHN V. DU BOIS,
Colonel, U. S. Army, and Chief of Staff.
SAINT LOUIS, MO., November 6, 1862.
Colonel J. C. KELTON.
Shall I destroy railroad at Grenada if I can?
SAML. R. CURTIS,
21 R R - VOL XVII, PT II