HDQRS. DEPT. AND ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,
Near Williams' Cross-Roads, February 25, 1865 - 2. 35.
Respectfully referred to Major-General Blair, commanding Seventeenth Army Corps, for his information. I think the road referred to in the within communication is the one shown one the map as running direct from West's to Camden.
By order of Major-General Howard:
WM. E. STRONG,
Chief of Staff.
HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Near West's Cross-Roads, S. C., February 25, 1865.
[Major MAX. WOODHULL:]
MAJOR: I respectfully report that I am still occupying the position as reported last evening. There are no indications of the enemy in my front. To-day there was one regiment of the Second Brigade of my division sent out on the road toward Camden to the distance of four miles and a half from my camp, but the reconnaissance discovered no signs of the enemy. Some of my foragers have been captured off in the direction of Camden, though I cannot learn of their being any body of rebels in that vicinity. The parties have all been well cautioned against separating when away from the column. One of my regiments encamps out on the Camden road one mile to-night, and I have a party of eighty men, mounted, sent to the rear this evening, partially with a view to reconnoitering in that direction.
I am, major, very respectfully,
C. R. WOODS,
HEADQUARTERS FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
West's Cross-Roads, S. C., February 25, 1865.
Brevet Major-General WOODS,
Commanding First Division, Fifteenth Army Corps:
GENERAL: Instances of brutality, and murder even, have come to the attention of the commanding general, committed, it is presumed by the citizens of the country upon foragers from this and other corps of the army. Moving through an enemy's country, in the manner and on distant marches as this army does, it becomes necessary to resort to this means of obtaining subsistence, as it would be impossible to carry rations for the campaign in our wagon trains. The general commanding has given the matter his attention, and would have issued instructions relative to a system of retaliation had not the commander-in-chief himself prepared a note upon the subject. I am directed to communicate the following extract from General Sherman's note for your information and guidance:
He (General Kilpatrick) reports that two men of his foraging parties were murdered after captured by the enemy and labeled "Death to all foragers. " Now, it is clearly our war right to subsist our army on the enemy. Napoleon always did it, but could avail himself of the civil powers he found in existence to collect forage and provisions by regular impressments. We cannot do that here, and I contend if