III. Always on approaching a village the division engineer, with an order from the provost-marshal-general, if possible, will search all taverns, groceries, stage offices, &c., and seize all maps, surveys, plats, charts, voting, tax, or enrollment lists, and books, papers, and records that can afford useful information about the topography of the country or its resources. If these are claimed as private property he will give receipts for them, stating that they are seized for use of U. S. forces in accordance with this order. They will be forwarded at once with a catalogue to the corps engineer. The division engineer will receive orders from the commander of his division, from the corps engineer, and from the chief engineer of the army. He will apply to the corps engineer for information he may need on engineering subjects. He will be held accountable that the above instructions are strictly adhered to and promptly fulfilled, and that he and his assistant are at all times provided with the necessary instruments and materials for this purpose. The attention of all commanders of troops, especially of detachments, scouts, pickets, and convoys of staff officers, especially acting engineers and of topographers, is called to the following instructions: The information obtained should be embodied in concise, clear memoirs, forwarded promptly to corps headquarters through regular channels, to be referred to the chiefs of staff departments concerned. Every means should be employed to obtain miscellaneous information valuable to the army, and all inhabitants within reach should be freely questioned, conciliated if possible, and threatened and constrained if necessary. As a general rule pilots and officers of boats are the best authorities; professional men and planters about presence, numbers, and motions of troops, plans and opinions of enemy and resources of all sorts of the country. These resources depend principally upon number of houses, together or isolated, population (which may be roughly estimated at ten times the voters), number of men and horses there is shelter for, mills, powder houses, saltpeter-works, salt-works, workmen, as smiths, wheelwrights, shores, carpenters, tailors, shoemakers, saddlers; contributions in money which could be raised for institutions and individuals, with their names and directions; also stores, public and private; of forage, as hay, oats, corn, beans; of food, as beef, calves, sheep, pigs, flour, meal, sugar, rice, and all commissary stores; transportation, as carts, harness, boats, oxen, horses, mules; fuel, whisky, cloth, leather, iron, wood, and everything useful in the commissary, quartermaster's, and ordnance departments stored within reach; what could be destroyed and what brought in. Approximate estimates of crops, as a check on information, may be made by observing the relative proportion of cultivated and ucultivated lands and the average yield per acre, by consulting tax-lists and by learning products by mills, gins, &c. Constant attention should be paid to discovering and securing suitable and competent persons for guides. Above all, established and reliable information should be carefully distinguished from what is only conjectural or doubtful, as all things not delivered with certainty rather perplex than form the judgment. Officers intrusted with collecting and transmitting this information should remember that they are performing one of the highest functions of the service, that they lead and guide every step of the army, and that its success and safety depends on their faithfulness, intelligence, and candor.
By order of Major-General Granger:
F. W. EMERY,
Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.