HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Chattanooga, December 3, 1863-9 p. m.
Major General L. H. ROUSSEAU,
Put force at work on bridges between Nashville and Columbia. Detain animals for General Hooker's command until further orders.
By command of General Thomas:
J. J. REYNOLDS,
Major-General, Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF NASHVILLE,
Nashville, Tennessee, December 3, 1863.
Major General J. J. REYNOLDS,
Chief of Staff, Department of the Cumberland:
SIR: I beg leave to call your attention to a subject that is giving us some trouble. Generals Buell and Rosecrans, by proclamation, both promised protection to the persons and property of law-abiding citizens in this city and State; yet I find that dwelling-houses, furniture, &c., are often taken by the Federal officials for guarders, as well as offices, turning the owners and their families out of doors.
In very hard cases I have been prompted to interfere, by a sense of duty to the Government as well as a conscientious regard for justice and right. But the discharge of this duty is an unpleasant one, as it brings me in collision with other officials in a matter which they think they are as competent to judge of as I am; and although I do not wish to shift from myself any responsibilities resting upon me, yet I ask that an order on this subject from department headquarters be made that will be more authoritative and more satisfactory to all concerned. I do not think that families should be put out of their dwelling-houses to give quarters to officers, nor that such houses, when occupied by families, should be taken for any purpose when it may be conveniently avoided. This was the rule adopted by Generals Buell and Rosecrans, and the instructions of General Rosecrans on this subject to Captain Dickson were very particular and in accordance with the views above expressed. Great hardships and sufferings will result from the course now pursued.
The writing of this paper is rendered necessary by an instance of the kind referred to, brought to my notice by Captain J. Bates Dickson, assistant adjutant-general, the particulars of which I have requested him to communicate to you on this paper.
I am, general, very respectfully,
L. H. ROUSSEAU,
Major-General, Commanding District of Nashville.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Numbers 289. Chattanooga, Tennessee, December 4, 1863.
All orders given by order of the major-general commanding the department by any officer announced as a member of his staff, including the chiefs of all staff departments-such orders concerning their own departments exclusively-will be obeyed Such orders