VII. Much irregularity having existed recently at out outposts in sending and receiving correspondence, it is ordered that rigid rules be enforced on this subject.
1st. Nothing can be forwarded to the enemy's lines but what is sent under "flag," indorsed from army headquarters; so nothing should be received, except from the commander of the opposing forces.
2nd. Commanders of outposts will receive no communication without examining its contents, and will return, with proper indorsements, any document not respectful in its language and tone our Government and its officers.
3rd. "Flag" only cover and protect the parties which bear them, and by no means imply a general suspension of hostilities.
4th. None but persons authorized at army headquarters can be allowed to accompany parties bearing "flags," and no others can be admitted to our lines or sent from them. This rule will not apply to persons sent out by cavalry commanders on special service.
* * * * * * *
By command of General Bragg:
RICHMOND, VA., February 26, 1863.
Your dispatch* respecting arms received. Between 4,000 and 5,000 ordered, and the balance, it is hoped, will be sent in time to meet the demand.
Adjutant and Inspector General.
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A.,
Richmond, Va., February 27, 1863.
Major General D. S. DONELSON,
GENERAL: I regret much to learn from your letter of the 15th instant, addressed to Colonel B. S. Ewell, assistant adjutant-general, the extent and obduracy of the disloyalty which still prevails in East Tennessee, and your conviction that the course of leniency and forbearance heretofore exhibited by the Confederate Government toward the disaffected, instead of winning to juster sentiments, has only encouraged and strengthened their traitors hostility. Your letter has been submitted to the consideration of the President, and he concurs with me in approving generally the measures of precaution and repression you suggest. The military court of General Smith's corps is regarded as attached rater to his late command than to his staff; and, indeed, was framed, in selection, with reference to the troops in East Tennessee. It has, therefore, been ordered back to report to you, and to discharge its appropriate duties within your command.
The large collection of disaffected workmen at the iron and niter works may, it is thought, in accordance with your views, be judiciously brought within the operation of the conscript law, and all who are deemed obstinate in disloyalty or unworthy of trust within your State should be sent to the Tennessee regiments serving at distant points,
*See of February 20, p.642.