War of the Rebellion: Serial 040 Page 0197 Chapter XXXVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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appear to think it is not the intention to hold that country if pressed, but to fight on the Rapidan and at Fredericksburg.

6. * * * The blockade-rummers ship their goods by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to Long Creek Station, and from thence pass down the Valley through Brock's Gap to Staunton.

7. * * * There is a brigade of cavalry near Winchester, under Jones. White's battalion is between Jones and Culpeper. Cobb's Cavalry Legion is near Madison, at Wolftown.

8. * * * The rebels are seizing all the able-bodied negroes north of the Rappahannock and taking them south.

Please acknowledge the receipt of this.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. PLEASONTON,

Brigadier-General.

P. S.-The rebels have [arrested] numbers of Northern men, under the plea of their being spies.

GENERAL ORDERS,

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

Numbers 40.

Camp near Falmouth, Va., April 10, 1863.

I. Unnecessary delay has occurred in forwarding to these headquarters deserters, contrabands, and prisoners captured or coming into the lines of this army.

It is the duty of all to see that every prisoner, deserter, contraband, or citizen, also all newspapers, communications, or other articles, wherever received, whether captured or coming from the enemy, are sent, without delay, to the provost-marshal-general, at these headquarters.

II. The commanding general regrets that it has become necessary for him to reprimand, in general terms, officers who send incorrect information from the picket lines.

The outposts of an army are its safeguards, and this duty must be so performed that the camps are not unnecessarily disturbed. Officers of outposts are expected to inform themselves accurately of all events transpiring in their vicinity, and those whose fears magnify trifling squads into large bodies of the enemy as richly deserve death as the base wretch who deserts his country's flag or his comrades in battle. It has been too much a practice, upon outposts and battle-fields, to send back reports and calls for re-enforcements, founded upon imagination or the tales of a frightened or cowardly shirk. The fate of battle may be changed by such reports.

Officers will be held responsible that their reports from the front are perfectly reliable. Their attention is called to the Forty-ninth Article of War. Corps and division commanders are required to see that any officer or soldier, guilty of conduct in conflict with its provisions, or of the character referred to in this order, is brought before a court-martial without delay.

III. Upon the march straggling must not be permitted. Corps commanders will take effectual measures to prevent it. Officers who fail to prevent it in their respective commands must be relieved and sent to the rear, and their names and the number of their regiments forwarded for publication in orders. Leaves of absence and furloughs must also be withheld from regiments in which straggling is tolerated. Drum-head courts-martial, if necessary, can be held, for the punishment of this class of offenders.