War of the Rebellion: Serial 030 Page 0143 Chapter XXXII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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as guerrillas. The system pursued by Confederate commanders of sending out small parties of cavalry is one determined wholly by their choice, and is equally open to the Federal authorities for their adoption. The operations of these small bodies, generally far removed from the base of our heavier movements, their intrepidity in destroying the communication, trains, &c., of the enemy, certainly cannot invest them with the character of guerrillas, and as they direct their efforts against the armed forces, and not against non-combatants, it is difficult to understand why they have ever been stigmatized as such.

I cordially reciprocate your sentiments in reference to the exemption of peaceful citizens from molestation. No policy has been as rigidly observed as mine in this respect. While in Kentucky I resisted all attempts to observe a contrary one, and if there are now within my jurisdiction any individuals of this class under military restraint, they shall be cheerfully and promptly released upon proper notification. My surveillance is restricted to spies. All questions of loyalty are referred to the civil tribunals. With the mere sympathies of individuals I have nothing to do,and will not permit the forces under my command to interfere.

Your general condemnation of the burning of houses and pillage of property does not meet the question as propounded in my last communication. The qualified approval which you give to recent acts, by implying that the houses were burned because used as little fortifications, is not sustained by facts. The destruction of many of the houses in and near Va Vergne was wanton, and needs a more serious consideration. I shall, however, be able, I hope, in a few days to transmit to you evidence which will present the case, in at least one instance, in so palpable a form as to elicit from you a more particular and definite expression of your disapprobation.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


General, Commanding.

FORT HENRY, December 9, 1862

Major-General ROSECRANS:

The following information I consider good and true: Morgan, with about 3,000 men and four pieces of artillery, is near Port Royal, in Montgomery County, between 12 and 15 miles northeast of Clarksville; allows none of his men to leave camp; the camp is in a deep and extensive hollow. Napier, Forrest, and Woodward are to concentrate their forces in the vicinity of Waverly, with a view to divert attention from here and Donelson. This accomplished, Morgan's force is to move at once, crossing Memphis, Louisville and Clarksville road near Tate's Station to a point known as Peachy's Mill; thence down to Providence; thence to Donelson by road east of Cumberland. They do not expect to hold Donelson, if taken but want to secure stock and Government stores and arms.


Colonel, Commanding.

NASHVILLE, December 9, 1862

General THOMAS:

Has any firing been heard in your neighborhood?