CIRCULAR ORDERS.] HEADQUARTERS PAROLED PRISONERS,
On the March, July 18, 1863
I. The President has intrusted to my discretion the granting of furloughs to this army. Never did the country require the services of her defenders more than at this time. It was the President's most anxious desire that this army, which has distinguished itself by gallantry and endurance of hardships almost without parallel, in defense of the most important point in the Confederacy, should be kept together, and by an immediate exchange meet and defeat the enemy upon equal field. Many of you have been long absent from your homes, and I fully sympathize with you in your natural desire to see those you best love. The President has yielded to my application, and you are permitted to visit your homes for the longest period the country can possibly dispense with your services. Some of you will remain at home a longer and some a less time. I give each and all of you who desire it a leave of absence of thirty days from the date of the promulgation of this order. I confidently hope that not one man of the Army of Vicksburg will be found absent from his post at the expiration of the period.
II. All regimental and company officers will take immediately measures to notify the rank and file of the commands to which they respectively belong of the full purport and intent of this order, and regimental commanders, are authorized to publish in the newspapers of the districts in which their commands have been respectively raised or organized this order, as also such notices as they may deem necessary and fitting to bring the men together, and to conduct them as far as possible too Demopolis, Ala., where they [will] again receive arms and equipments to meet our enemy.
III. Within the time limited, all companies or organizations, under a commissioned officer, who shall report themselves at recognized railroad depots, not in possession of the enemy, but in actual operation, shall be transported to Demopense to themselves, and when officers or men not belonging to the particular organizations with which they move, but to others of the Army of Vicksburg, shall, for local convenience, join these organizations they shall be entitled to transportation as if they belonged to the command with which they moved.
IV. Such enlisted men as should prefer to receive the allowance authorized by Congress when not accepting furloughs, and who shall not already have received furloughs, shall be paid the same, upon the certificate of the proper regimental commanders to that effect.
J. C. PEMBERTON.
HEADQUARTERS, Mrs. Winston's, July 18, 1863-8 p. m.
GENERAL: Scouts Dalton and Carter crossed Big Black at Kebby's Ferry on morning of 15th, and went to near Satartia. No force of enemy had gone up by land between Big Black and Yazoo. Citizens report a force of several thousand with five gunboats, having passed up to Yazoo City Monday, but as Scout Smith had gone in that direction, they returned across by Vernon, where they reported to General Jackson. Returning, near Calhoun they were ambushed by 15 Yankees. Their fire fortunately missed, but, after chasing them half a mile, they must have hit Carter's horse, as they overtook and captured him; a very serious loss to my command-one of the best men I ever knew Dalton found General Jackson's cavalry skirmishing with enemy's in-