In compliance with these instructions, I have directed Major-General Parke, who arrived in this city this morning (just returning from sick leave), to at once proceed to Nicholasville, Ky., there to resume command of his corps, the Ninth, and to push forward with all possible dispatch to Knoxville, via Cumberland Gap. The First Division of the corps is now in the vicinity of and probably at Cumberland Gap, having started from Crab Orchard to join the general several days ago. The Second Division is at Nicholasville. The effective strength of the Ninth Corps is but 6,324. The batteries of the Ninth Corps can be of but little service, as they are in a terrible condition, most of their men being sick. Benjamin's battery (E) Second U. S. Artillery, reports 51 men for duty. Edwards' command, Batteries L and M, Third U. S. Artillery, reports 37 men for duty.
I am also pushing forward to join the general three six-months' Indiana regiments, which have just been equipped, and about 3,700 old troops of General Boyle's command, being half that he has for duty.
I consulted with Major-General Parke and Brigadier-General Cox in regard to the number of troops that it would be advisable to take from General Boyle, showing them the General-in-Chief's dispatch. They advised me not to send more than half, as it would not be safe to have the line of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad guarded by a smaller force at present. I think that these are all the troops that can be sent forward to the general with safety. I will do everything in my power to have them pushed forward with all possible dispatch.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. P. ANDERSON,
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO,
Cincinnati, Ohio, September 15, 1863.
The commanders of army corps, districts, divisions, and separate brigades are authorized to order military commissions to try offenses against the laws of war which are not triable by a general court-martial. But all sentences of such commissions extending to loss of life, confiscation of property, or imprisonment exceeding the term of thirty days, must be confirmed by the general commanding the department. The following extracts from General Orders, Numbers 1, Headquarters Department of the Missouri, 1862, is, in regard to military commissions, published for the information and guidance of all concerned:
First. Military commissions will be composed of not less than three members, one of whom will act as judge-advocate and recorder where no officer is designated for that duty. A larger number will be detailed where the public service will permit.
Second. All the proceedings will be recorded and signed by the president and judge-advocate and recorder, as in the case of courts-martial. These proceedings will be governed by the same rules as courts-martial, so far as they may be applicable.
Third. Civil offenses cognizable by civil courts, whenever such loyal court exist, will not be tried by a military commission. It must be observed, however, that many offenses which in time of