As to the idea of the abandonment of the country, the major-general commanding states that there is no necessity for the circulation of such an idea, as the country is not to be abandoned unless you are forced to do so. If you are forced from the west bank of the Saint John's or from any section now held by your troops, you must give ample time to loyal citizens to take care of themselves and property. Major-General Foster states, however, that he cannot see cause for any apprehension of this kind, as your force is certainly superior to that of the enemy, and is, instead of being the smaller, actually larger than there is any imperative necessity for. The major-general commanding expects you to do best you can with what force you have at your disposal.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. L. M. BURGER,
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE SOUTH, Hilton Head, S. C., July 16, 1864.
General Orders, Numbers 66, from these headquarters, dated August 7, 1863,* is hereby amended to read as follows:
I. The practice of giving information to their friends, or to the public press, on matters connected with military operations in progress or in contemplation, so unscrupulously indulged in by officers, soldiers, and citizens in this department, and by employees on transports, is fraught with incalculable evil to our cause, and must be stopped at once. No information which could in any way benefit the enemy must be divulged, directly or indirectly.
Upon the following subjects in particular the strictest silence must be observed, viz:
1. The names of division, brigade, or post commanders.
2. The strength of regiments, brigades, or divisions.
3. The number and position of regiments, brigades, divisions, batteries, or pieces of artillery.
4. Allusions to the kind or quality of arms, cannon, or ammunition.
5. The number of transports or kind of supplies transported in any movement.
6. The description of any movement, or any allusions to its objects.
7. Suggestions of future movements or attacks.
8. Any allusions whatever to scouts or reconnaissances, whether accomplished or yet in prospect.
9. The position or location of camps, batteries, pickets, military roads, or outposts.
10. The publication of official reports of operations without special permission from the department commander.
II. The publication of official reports of operations without special permission form the department commander.
II. Violations of this order will be met with the severest punishment known to military law and usage in the field.
By command of Major General J. G. Foster:
W. L. M. BURGER,
*See Vol. XXVIII, Part Ii, p. 40.
12 R R-VOL XXXV, PT II