HDQRS.18TH A. C., DEPT. VA. AND N. C. No. 56.
Fort Monroe, Va., December 16, 1863.
The provost-marshal of each district in this department will cause to be made and reported to these headquarters, on or before the 5th day of January, 1864, an enrollment of all able-bodied citizens (distinguishing between white and colored in hteir reports) between the ages of eighteen and forty-five, in order that the commanding general may know what able-bodied force he can rely for the defense of the Union.
By command of Major-General Butler:
R. S. DAVIS,
Major, and Assistant Adjutant-General.
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, December 17, 1863-2.30 p.m.
Major General GEORGE G. MEADE,
Army of the Potomac:
The subject-matter of your letter of the 12th instant was laid before the Secretary of War immediately on its receipt, but I have not been able to give you an earlier answer. The policy of furloughing now a part, at least, of those who re-enlist, is approved. Perhaps the number who so re-enlist may not be so great that you cannot spare them all. General Orders, No. 376, leave that to your discretion.
If you deem a position on the line of the Rappahannock more favorable than that you now occupy, no objections are made to the change. I have received no intimation in regard to future enterprises. If any should be made, I will immediately communicate them. General Kelley seems to apprehend a movement from Lee's army into the Shenandoah Valley,and asks that your attention be called to the subject.
H. W. HALLECK,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, December 17, 1863.
Circular to Corps Commanders:
The commanding general directs that you send to these headquarters, in the course of to-morrow, if possible, a statement showing the number of men tha will re-enlist in your command, under the provisions of General Orders, Nos.191, 305, and 376, of the present year, from the War Department, upon the condition that the men so re-enlisting are at once allowed the furlough of at least thirty days provided for in the last-mentioned. The statement will be arranged by regiments and show the number of men that will re-enlist in each regiment, as well as the number that will not re-enlist or do not once within the provisions of the orders applicable to the subject.
No man can re-enlist at this time who has more than a year to serve.
By command of Major-General Meade: