War of the Rebellion: Serial 028 Page 0396 OPERATIONS IN N.VA.,W.VA.,MD.,AND PA. Chapter XXXI.

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Discussions by officers soldiers concerning public measures determined upon and declared by the Government, when carried at all beyond temperate and respectful expressions of opinion, tend greatly to impair and destroy the discipline and efficiency of troops, by substituting the spirit of political faction for that firm, steady, and earnest support of the authority of the Government which is the highest duty of the American soldier. The remedy for political errors, if any are committed, is to be found only in the action of the people at the polls.

In thus calling the attention of this army to the true relation between the soldier and the Government, the general commanding merely adverts to an evil against which it has been thought advisable during our whole history to guard the armies of the Republic, and in so doing he will not be considered by any right-minded person as casting any reflection upon that loyalty and good conduct which has been so fully illustrated upon so many battle-fields.

In carrying out all measures of public policy, this army will, of course, be guided by the same rules of mercy and Christianity that have ever controlled its conduct toward the defenseless.

By command of Major-General McClellan:

JAS. A. HARDIE,

Lieutenant-Colonel, Aide-de-Camp, and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,

Major-General, Commanding.

NEAR SHARPSBURG, [MD.], October 7, 1862-1.30 a.m.

General M. C. MEIGS:

What arrangements are in progress in regard to supplying the army with hospital tents? Are there any on hand in Washington? If so, be pleased to let me know the number. If there are none, how long would it take to have them manufactured and delivered here in considerable amount, say three or four thousand?

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,

Major-General, Commanding.

QUARTERMASTER-GENERAL'S OFFICE,

Washington City, October 7, 1862.

Major General GEORGE B. McCLELLAN,

Commanding, Headquarters near Sharpsburg, Md.:

Five hundred hospital tents were sent to Frederick about the 20th of September. About 1,000 are pitched, in use, at hospital camps in the District of Columbia. Each regiment, as raised, is supplied with its allowance of three hospital tents. Provision is made to keep up this supply, with a reasonable surplus.

There are in depot at Washington, 700; in Philadelphia, 250; in New York, 300. Total hospital tents in depot, 1,250.

Material is scarce and dear; it would take a long time to procure and sent to Sharpsburg 3,000 or 4,000 hospital tents. It would cost $400,000 or $500,000.

M. C. MEIGS,

Quartermaster-General.

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, October 7, 1862.

Major General GEORGE B. McCLELLAN,

Commanding Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 6th instant, and respectfully request that the 27 wagons alluded