life and death in extreme cases, of meeting desertion, & c., in the hands of the department commanders. This daily requisite defeats all the ends of punishment, making the higher crimes go unpunished. Desertions by officers of white liver, feeble constitution, and Butternut connections are not utterly unknown to this command, nor are the attempts to draw away others of infrequent occurrence. I want power to have these put to their proper punishment.
May I ask your attention to the Orders, No. 6., establishing our inspection system? Its fruits are wonderful here.
W. S. ROSECRANS,
GENERAL ORDERS, HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Murfreesborough, Tenn., February 14, 1863.
I. To establish a method of pointing out to this army and the nation those officers and soldiers of this command who shall distinguish themselves by bravery in battle, by courage, enterprise, and soldierly conduct, and also to promote the efficiency of the service, it is ordered that in every company in this army - infantry, artillery, and cavalry included - there shall be kept a roll of honor, on which shall be entered the names of 5 privates most distinguished for bravery in battle, enterprise, endurance, soldierly conduct, and skill in the use of arms. The soldiers entitled to this distinction will be selected by the non-commissioned officers and privates in each company, by ballot, approved by the company commander.
In every regiment there shall be kept a regimental roll of honor, in which shall be entered the company rolls, and, in addition thereto, the names of 10 corporals and 10 sergeants most distinguished for like good qualities. These non-commissioned officers shall be chosen by the commissioned officers of regiments, approved by regimental commanders. Regimental rolls shall be announced in regimental orders, and copies forwarded to brigade and department headquarters without delay.
In every brigade there shall be kept a brigade roll of honor, on which shall be inscribed the regimental rolls, and, in addition thereto, the names of 4 lieutenants, 4 captains, and 2 field officers below the rank of colonel, most distinguished for gallantry in action, professional knowledge, skill, energy, and zeal in the performance of duty. Brigade rolls of honor shall be published in brigade general orders, and copies sent to division and department headquarters.
Each army corps shall have a roll of honor, composed of brigade rolls, and, in addition thereto, the names of general, field, and staff officers who win especial distinction by noble and heroic conduct.
The name of any one on the rolls of honor may be stricken therefrom for misconduct, or for falling below the standard, by regimental, brigade, division, or superior commanders, or by sentence of courts-martial. Vacancies arising from these or other causes shall be immediately filled in the manner already prescribed. Whoever shall receive a medal for distinguished service shall have his name placed on the roll of honor.
Officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates may have their names placed upon the rolls of honor by the general commanding, for particular acts of heroism that may come under his observation.
II. Each infantry and cavalry brigade shall immediately organize a light battalion, to be formed from the rolls of honor, as follows: Three privates from each company, 1 commissioned officer, 2 sergeants, and 3 corporals from each regiment, and 1 field officer from each brigade, as