Lieutenant Colonel Willard Warner, Seventy-sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
They will report in person to the major-general commanding in the field.
By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:
R. M. SAWYER,
CIRCULAR.] HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Chattanooga, Tenn., April 30, 1864.
I. The following instructions are published for the information of the Army of the Cumberland, to be observed during the approaching campaign.
Should the routes to be indicated in future orders bring the army in contact with the enemy, he should be engaged vigorously, after proper reconnaissance, and all attacks of the enemy in position should be preceded by a good line of skirmishers to develop the position of the enemy's artillery and masses. Great care should be taken not to use artillery or volleys of musketry unnecessarily, as the sound is calculated to mislead the neighboring army.
The habit of general officers taking cavalry for escorts and orderlies is very ruinous to the cavalry arm of the service, and should be discontinued as far as possible. Commanders of brigades and divisions and of corps, when acting compactly, should, as far as possible, mount a few infantry as orderlies and scouts, leaving the cavalry arm entire to fulfill its most important part of clearing the front and flanks.
A small force in a block-house, disencumbered of baggage and stores not needed, can hold their ground and protect their point against any cavalry force until relief comes. They should be instructed to fight with desperation to the last, as they thereby save the time necessary for concentration.
All officers are cautioned against the mischievous and criminal practice of reporting mere vague rumors, often sent into our lines by the enemy for his own purposes. Actual facts should be reported to the headquarters in the field, that they may be judged in connection with other known facts. An army of a million men could not guard against the fabulous stories that are sent to headquarters. Officers must scrutinize and see with their own eyes, or those of some cool, experienced staff officer, before making reports that may call off troops from another quarter where there may be more need of them. When troops are intrenched, or well covered by block-houses, a surrender will entail disgrace, for we have all seen examples where a few determined men have held thousands in check till relief came, or the necessities of the enemy forced him to withdraw.
II. All surplus baggage in the hands of the troops will be stored without delay at Bridgeport, where the quartermaster has been directed to provide storage.
III. In consequence of the large amount of unserviceable property on hand requiring inspection, and the inability of division inspectors to attend to this duty as promptly as desired, brigade inspectors are hereby authorized to inspect such property with a view to condemnation within their respective brigades until June 1, 1864.
By command of Major-General Thomas:
WM. D. WHIPPLE,