COLUMBUS, April 15, 1864.
Major-General Lee will move Jackson's division and Ferguson's brigade of his command into Alabama and take a position near Tuscaloosa. He will throw a part of his command up Jones' Valley, in the neighborhood of Elyton, and advance his courts well up toward the Tennessee River, so as to be informed of the enemy's situation, strength, and purposes. He will establish a line of couriers from his headquarters to some convenient point on the railroad, so as to keep department headquarters constantly informed, and will report frequently. He will constantly advise Major-General Loring of the condition of things in his front.
Major-General Lee will also organize expeditions against the deserters and tories of North Alabama. He will arrest them, and will deal with all such as may be banded together for resistance in the most summary manner.
By order of Lieutenant-General Polk:
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Demopolis, April 16, 1864.
To all soldiers in this department absent from their commands without leave:
The lieutenant-general commanding has had presented to him a petition signed by the senate and house of representatives of the Legislature of Mississippi, setting fourth that a large number of the men now absent from their commands in this department, who in a moment of weakness were induced to abandon their duty and desert their colors, have seen reasons bitterly to regret their want of fidelity and are anxious to return.
They set forth also that many of these men, by reason of the absence of mail facilities, never saw the act of pardon offered by His Excellency the President; that they would now gladly return but for fear of the punishment due their offenses, and ask that such an offer of pardon be again tendered them.
The lieutenant-general commanding is free to say that the experience of the past in this and other armies of the Confederacy is not favorable to the expediency of the measures proposed. He is nevertheless willing, in deference to the wishes of so large a body of influential citizens, to add one more effort to the list of those already made to recover these misguided men and restore them to the service of their country.
The lieutenant-general commanding therefore by this proclamation offers pardon to all soldiers of this department absent from their commands (including exchanged and paroled prisoners) who shall, within ten days after having knowledge of this proclamation, report for duty to their respective commands, or to the commanding officer of the post at Meridian, Miss.: provided, however, that this offer of amnesty shall not extend to any person who fails to report by the 20th of May next; provided also, that it shall not extend to
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