War of the Rebellion: Serial 086 Page 0818 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LIII.

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[Inclosure Numbers 2.]

WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE,

Washington, December 12, 1864.

Major General W. F. SMITH, and

Honorable HENRY STANBERY,

Washington, D. C.:

GENTLEMEN: By direction of the President you are appointed special commissioners to inspect and report upon the condition of affairs in the Military Division of West Mississippi. This inspection and investigation will embrace the condition, discipline, and supplies of the troops of that division, the operations off the quartermaster's and other staff departments, and all matters connected with contraband trade. For this purpose you are authorized by the President to take the deposition of any citizen and of any person in the military, naval, or civil service of the United States. You are also authorized to call upon any military or other officer for such reports or statements as you may deem necessary for your information. You will be accompanied and assisted by an officer of the Adjutant-General's Department, who will also act as judge-advocate. He will, upon your direction, summon the witnesses, administer the oaths, record the testimony, and perform such other appropriate duties as you may require. While employed upon these duties, you and the officers accompanying you will be allowed commutation for fuel and quarters, to be determined by the Quartermaster-General. Office room and stationery will be furnished by the quartermaster's department on proper requisitions. You will from time to time report to the Secretary of War, through the Adjutant-General of the Army, the result off your investigation, recommending for removal, dismissal, or trial, such officers as you may find unworthy of their present position or employment. You will give, in each case, the reason for such recommendation and copies of the testimony upon which it is based.

By order of the Secretary of War:

E. D. TOWNSEND,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

GENERAL ORDERS,

HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF, Numbers 173.

New Orleans, December 10, 1864.

Pursuant to the provisions of General Orders, Numbers 242, Adjutant-General's Office, and General Orders, Numbers 42, Military Division of West Mississippi, the following regulations in regard to the Presidential amnesty are declared in force within this department:

No person will be admitted to take the amnesty oath within this department, or to claim the privileges belonging thereto, except upon the following conditions:

First. The applicant shall first file with the commanding general of the department, or some other general officer in actual command of troops,, a sworn petition setting forth clearly and distinctly the services, or aid of any kind, that he has in any way rendered to the rebel authority, and from the penalties for which treasonable acts he asks to be relieved; and further stating that this application is made with the true intent and purpose on his part of faithfully and loyally supporting the Government of the United States, and without any reservation.

Second. On receipt of such petition the general officer who may pass on the same, if satisfied that the application is in good faith, and that