HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Savannah, GA., December 31, 1864.
Major General F. P. BLAIR,
Commanding Seventeenth Army Corps:
GENERAL: Your note inclosing Mr. Cohen's of this date is received, and I answer frankly, through you, his inquiries.
First. No one can practice law as an attorney in the United States without acknowledging the supremacy of our Government. If I am not in error an attorney is as much an officer of the court as the clerk, and it would be a novel thing in a government to have a court to administer law that denied the supremacy of the Government itself.
Second. No one will be allowed the privileges of a merchant, or rather to trade is a prevail which no one should seek of the Government, without, in like manner, acknowledging its supremacy.
Third. If Mr. Cohen remains in Savannah as a denizen, his property, real and personal, will not be disturbed, unless its temporary use by necessary for the military authorities of the city. The title to property will not be disturbed, in any event, until adjudicated by the courts of the United States.
Fourth. If Mr. Cohen leaves Savannah under my Special Orders, Numbers 143, it is a public acknowledgment that he "adheres to the enemies of the United States," and all his property becomes forfeited to the United States. But as a matter of favor he will be allowed to carry with him clothing and fortunate for the use of himself, his family, and servants, and will be transported, at our cost, within the enemy's lines, but not be way of Fort Royal.
These rules will apply to all parties, and from them no exceptions will be made.
I have the honor to be, General, your obedient servant,
W. T. SHERMAN,
WASHINGTON, December 31, 1864.
Major General J. G. FOSTER,
GENERAL: Your letter of the 26th has been received and submitted to the Secretary of War, who directs that the families of all rebel officers in Savannah be placed outside our lines, so that they may enjoy the society and share the fortunes of their husbands and fathers. And no such persons will hereafter be permitted to remain or come within the lines of the Union armies. The Secretary also directs that you report the receipt of this order and the time of its execution. If General Sherman should still be in Savannah on its receipt, you will deliver it to him and so report. There are no troops available to be sent to your department at the present time, except the fragments of General Sherman's command on leave and with General Thomas. All have been ordered to New York for transportation to Savannah.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. HALLECK,
Major-General and Chief of Staff.