NEW MADRID, MO., November 30, 1863.
Major General JOHN M. SCHOFIELD,
GENERAL: Your dispatch of the 28th instant, ordering me to send what troops I could spare to Columbus, was received at noon to-day.
Major Nichols, with 275 men, transportation, baggage, &c., will leave in a few minutes, and report to General Smith early in the morning. I retain the mounted men (50) for pickets, and two companies, which I shall put in the fort, besides some 44 sick. I will proceed to Saint Louis, as directed, as soon as I can turn over my post and other Government property.*
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
CHESTER HARDING, JR.,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
Saint Louis, November 30, 1863.
Colonel R. R. LIVINGSTON,
Commanding First Nebraska Cavalry, Saint Louis, Mo.:
COLONEL: The order inclosed herewith assigns to the command of the District of Northeastern Arkansas, with headquarters at Batesville, and designates the troops which are placed at your disposal. In the discharge of the duties upon which you are about to enter, you will be guided by the following general instructions:
The chief object to be accomplished by your command is to destroy, drive out, or capture the guerrilla bands which now infest the district of country lying between that occupied by General Steele's army and the southern line of Missouri, and to organize as many troops as can be obtained for the general service. It is believed that you will very soon be able to do this so effectually as to enable me to reduce very much the force which it is necessary to keep in the southern part of Missouri, while you will gain considerable re-enforcements from the loyal people of Arkansas. In all your operations you will regard these objects as paramount.
You will endeavor to cultivate and encourage the loyal sentiment among the loyal people of your district as far as possible; show them that the Government will, as far as in its power, protect the loyal and punish the disloyal. In your treatment of the latter class of persons, give due wight to the fact that their country had heretofore been exclusively under rebel sway. As a general rule, let their future rather than their past conduct determine the treatment they are to receive. Above all, maintain perfect discipline among your troops. Allow no depredations upon property by either officers or men. Whatever measures of severity against rebels it may be necessary or expedient to adopt, let them be adopted by you and executed under your specific order, and not by irresponsible officers and men. Burning of houses or other destruction of property, except in case of absolute military necessity, is strictly prohibited.
You will, as far as practicable, subsist your troops upon the country, taking care, however, not to reduce any of the inhabitants to want. Funds will be furnished your quartermaster and commissary with which to pay for supplies taken from loyal people. All property purchased, captured, or appropriated for the use of the troops must be duly accounted for, whether paid for or not, and vouchers given when pay is not, such vouchers to be settled hereafter as the Government may direct.
*Some matters of detail omitted.