ganize and equip, in every suitable manner, and with as much dispatch as possible, and into such troops as he shall deem advisable, whether infantry, mounted riflemen, or cavalry, all the loyal Tennesseeans, North Carolina, and Georgians, or others now concealed in the fastness of the mountains of Tennessee, supposed to be about 4,000 men.
JNO. B. RODGERS.
I laid the foregoing application before the Secretary of War to-day. He said General Wright could do as much, and, if he laced any authority, apply to that Department, and he should have it. Go to the general; doubtless he will do all the poor fellows want. For God's and mercy's sake, do not delay all the relief in your power to bestow. They are looking to you, and hoping more from you than any other man. I have good authority for saying there are at least 4,000 men in the boundary of country asked for now in the mountains, ready to die for the country and their homes. Give them a chance, for Heaven's sake. General Wright is said to be a working man, and will not be apt to delay anything that can be done. I have one son and five nephews in the woods.
JNO. B. RODGERS.
WASHINGTON, D. C., March 5, 1863.
Major General W. S. ROSECRANS,
Commanding, &c., Murfreesborough, Tenn.:
GENERAL: I have just received Major General J. J. Reynolds' letter of February 10, with your indorsement of February 18.*
The suggestions of General Reynolds and General Thomas in regard to a more rigid treatment of all disloyal persons within the lines of your army are approved. No additional instructions from these headquarters are deemed necessary. You have already been urged to procure your subsistence, forage, and means of transportation, so far as possible, in the country occupied. This you had a right to do without any instructions. As the commanding general in the field, you have power to enforce all laws and usages of war, however rigid and severe these may be, unless there be some act of Congress, regulation, order, or instruction forbidding or restricting such enforcement. As a general rule, you must be the judge where it is best to rightly apply these laws, and where a more lenient course is of greater advantage to our cause. Distinctions, however, should always be made in regard to the character of the people in the district of country which is militarily occupied or passed over. The people of the country in which you are likely to operate may be divided into three classes. First. The truly loyal, who neither aid nor assist the rebels, except under compulsion, but who favor or assist the Union forces. Where it can possibly be avoided, this class of persons should not be subjected to military requisitions, but should received the protection of our arms. It may, however, sometimes be necessary to take their property either for our own use or to prevent its falling into the hands of the enemy. They will be paid, at the time, the value of such property, or, if that be impracticable, they will hereafter be fully indemnified. Receipts should be given for all property so taken without being paid for. Second. Those who taken no active part in the war, but belong to the class known in military law as non-combatants. In a civil war like
*See p. 54, and Part I, p. 42.