HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Chattanooga, December 12, 1863
To obtain uniformity in the disposition of deserters from the Confederate armies, coming within this military division, the following order is published:
1. All deserters from the enemy coming within our lines will be conducted to the commander of the division or detached brigade who shall be nearest the place of surrender.
2. If such commander is satisfied that the deserters desire to quit the Confederate service, he may permit them to go to their homes if within our lines on taking the following oath:
I do solemnly swear in the presence of Almighty God that I will henceforth faithfully support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States and the union of States thereunder, and that I will in like manner abide by and faithfully support all acts of Congress passed during the existing rebellion with reference to slaves so long and so far as not yet repealed, modified, or held void by Congress or by decision of the Supreme, Court, and that I will in like manner abide by and faithfully support all proclamations of the President made during the existing rebellion having reference to slaves so long and so far as not modified or declared void by decision of the Supreme Court; so help me God.
Sworn and subscribed to before me at---this---day of---, 186-.
3. Deserters from the enemy will at once be disarmed and their arms turned over to the nearest ordnance officer who will account for them.
4. Passes and rations may be given to deserters to carry them to their homes, and free passes over military railroads and on steam-boats in Government employ.
5. Employment at fair wages will, when practicable, be given to deserters by officers of the quartermaster and engineer departments.
6. To avoid the danger of recapture of such deserters by the enemy, they will be exempted from military service in the armies of the United States.
By order of Major General U. S. Grant:
T. S. BOWERS,
WASHINGTON, December 13, 1863-2.30 p.m.
We have heard nothing from General Foster for some days. Richmond papers of yesterday say that Longstreet is preparing to hold Rutledge; that his cavalry passed through Pound Gap and penetrated Kentucky to Mount Sterling, burning that place and capturing money and supplies, and that Cumberland Gap is threatened. If this be true, and Longstreet is establishing himself in East Tennessee, will it not be unsafe to withdraw Sherman's forces till the enemy is driven out of the State? The holding of East Tennessee, and the prevention of the enemy from getting supplies there, is deemed of the greatest importance. Please give this suggestion your careful attention. Moreover as General Meade's operations have failed to produce any results, Lee may send by rail re-enforcements to Longstreet without our knowing it. This contingency must also be considered.
H. W. HALLECK,