HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI, FIELD ORDERS,
In the Field, Milledgeville, GA., Numbers 127.
November 23, 1864.
The first movement of this army having proved perfectly successful, and the Weather now being fine, the following will constitute the second stage of campaign, and the movement will commence to-morrow, November 24:
I. General Kilpatrick, with his cavalry command, unencumbered by wagons, will move via Milledgeville by the most practicable route eastward, break the railroad between Millen and Augusta, then turn and strike the railroad below Millen; after which he will use all possible effort to rescue our prisoners of war now confined near Millen. He will communicate back to the wings of the army, as often as it is safe, any information of roads and the enemy that may be of interest to them.
II. The Right Wing, General Howard, will move substantially along but south of the railroad to a point opposite Sandersville, breaking up and destroying in the most thorough manner the railroad and telegraph, at which point further orders will be issued.
III. The Left Wing, General Slocum, will move directly from Milledgeville to the railroad opposite Sandersville, and at once commence destroying the railroad forward to the Ogeechee.
IV. Great attention should be paid to the destruction of this road, as it is of vital importance to our cause. Besides burning bridges and trestles, the iron should be carefully twisted and warped, so that it will be impossible to ever use it again; to this end, the rate of travel will be reduced to ten miles a day.
V. Increased attention must be given to the care of trains, for it is known that the enemy intend to harass our march by means of cavalry, and we should aim to punish him severely for a first attempt, as it will deter him from repeating it. Also, more attention must be paid to the subject of foraging; none but the regular organized foraging parties should be allowed to depart from the right and left of the road, and the foraging parties themselves should, in addition to former instructions, be instructed to capture wagons to bring their plunder to camp, after which the wagons should be burned. All the useless wagons, ox-teams, &c., which encumber our trains should now be destroyed; and the commander of any brigade is hereby authorized to destroy any wagon that delays the march or opens a gap in the column, no matter to whom it belongs; and, generally, the troops should be distributed along the trains, as we have no large enemy to threaten and nothing but dashes of cavalry at our flanks. Advance guards should be strengthened, attended by a pioneer corps prepared to construct temporary bridges in case of their destruction by the enemy; and wherever any such obstruction occurs the commanding officer of the troops present on the spot will deal harshly with the inhabitants near by, to show them that it is to their interest not to impede our movements. Should the enemy burn forage and corn on our route houses, barns, and cotton-gins must also be burned to keep them company.
VI. The General-in-chief will accompany the Left Wing until it reaches Sandersville, when he will join the Army of the Tennessee.
By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:
L. M. DAYTON,