engaged in the humane duty of picking up and caring for your wounded. As I understand, no lives were lost by this conduct. I mention it that you may apply the proper corrective.
I am also informed by your note, and informally by others, who claim to know the fact, that a portion of the town of Hernando was burned by some portion of my command. You properly ask if it was done by my orders. My answer is best found in the copy of written orders to commander of expedition, which I inclose. * Nothing is more foreign from my wishes than wanton and malicious destruction. The necessities of war bring evil enough to private and innocent persons. At the first opportunity I shall cause rigid investigation to be made and proper punishment awarded.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
S. A. HURLBUT.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE TENNESSEE, Number 25.
Milliken's Bend, La., April 22, 1863.
I. Corps, DIVISION, and post commanders will afford all facilities for the completion of the negro regiments now organizing in this department. Commissaries will issue supplies, and quartermaster will furnish stores, on the same requisitions and returns as are required from other troops. It is expected that all commanders will especially exert themselves in carrying out the policy of the Administration, not only in organizing colored regiments and rendering them efficient, but also in removing prejudice against them.
II. In accordance with General Orders, Number 85, Adjutant-General's Office, series 1862, army corps commanders will cause to be issued to all convalescent small-pox patients an entire suit of clothing, free of charge, on being reported for duty by their medical officer. It will be the duty of surgeons in charge of pest houses to see that all clothing by the patients during their sickness is destroyed, and all other necessary precautions taken to prevent the spread of the disease. In the absence of corps commanders, issues of clothing required by this order will be directed by the highest military commander nearest the pest-houses.
By order of Major General U. S. Grant:
JNumber A. RAWLINS,
HEADQUARTERS THIRTEENTH ARMY CORPS, Smith's Plantation, April 22, 1863.
Major General U. S. GRANT, comdg. Department of the Tennessee:
GENERAL: Your dispatch of this date, ordering me to direct Captain Patterson to work as many of his men as he can spare in cleaning out the bayou from Richmond to the river, is received. I hasten to reply that Captain Patterson is now moving his corps (except a party building a small tower at Holmes') some 7 miles below here, on Vidal, for the purpose of building a bridge across that bayou. Generals Hovey and Osterhaus and Lieutenant Hains, engineer, report the scheme to be entirely practicable, and General Osterhaus says he will have his portion of the work done to-morrow evening. With two or three such structures, you will have but little trouble or delay in moving your whole army by land to Perkin's plantation, some 15 miles
*See Hurlbut to Lauman, April 16, p. 199.