Today in History:

1068 Series I Volume XXIV-III Serial 38 - Vicksburg Part III

Page 1068 APPENDIX.

Embracing documents received too late for insertion in proper sequence.


HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE, Numbers 16. Memphis, Tenn., January 16, 1863

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I. A military commission, to be composed of three members, will assemble at Memphis, Tenn., at 10 a. m., on Wednesday, the 21st instant, at such place as may be assigned by the post quartermaster, to try all cases that may be laid before them by the department, district, or post commanders, the provost-marshall-general, or district provost-marshals.

The commission may enter any jail or place of confinement, talk to prisoners, examine their cases by taking oral or written testimony, and order the release of any such prisoners. They may also inflict punishment by fine or imprisonment, or both, or may sentence persons to be sent away North or South.

A correct record of each case will be made, and sent to the provost-marshall-general, and the judgment of said commission shall be subject to the approval of the general commanding the department.

The following detail is made for such commission:

Colonel W. H. H. Taylor, Fifth Regiment Ohio Cavalry Volunteers.

Lieutenant Colonel Charles H. Adams, First Regiment Illinois Artillery Volunteers.

Lieutenant-Colonel [F. M.] Smith, SEVENTEENTH Regiment Illinois Infantry Volunteers.

The senior officer of the commission will act as president, who will call for such orderlies, clerks, and assistants as may be required.

The commission will sit without regard to hours, and will make such

rules and regulations for their own government and the disposal of the business as they may see fit, provided they do not conflict with department orders.

The commission has a right to summons and enforce the attendance of any person as witness within the department; also the right to enter premises and call for papers.

The commission will sit daily (Sundays excepted) until further orders.

By order of Major General U. S. Grant.


Assistant Adjutant-General.

SIR: I telegraphed you to-day concerning the apparently conflicting orders of Lieutenant-General Pemberton, of December 12 (by telegraph from Major L. Mims), and December 18 (written also from Major Mims), and decisions recently made at Richmond.

From the first a promulgation of these orders, there has been, on the part of the management of the Mobile and Ohio road, a spirit of discontent and ungracious obedience amounting almost to resistance. Parties to whom I have given permits to transport corn down the road for domestic consumption, have been told by the superintendent of the road that such permits were worthless; that the management of the road was vested in the owners and directors of it, not in General Pemberton; and that when not fully occupied with Government transportation for corn and such supplies would be furnished to private parties without as readily as with these authorized permits from the commander of this department.

A recent communication from J. J. McRae, and another dispatch (which has been published in the Mississippi successively), of which I have no copy, has led the superintendent and managers of the road to believe that they are fully warranted in so acting, by decisions of the War Department. Under this conviction, they were transportation corn to Mobile for a private party, which has been stopped here, and awaits your orders. No application has been made to me for transportation of stores, bought by quartermasters or their agents, but I have reason to believe that supplies of corn are being bought and shipped to Mobile, by order and for the use of General Buckner's command. My orders from major Mims extend only to the "refusal of transportation" in such cases. Is it the design and order of General Pemberton that I shall intervene and prevent these stores also from going out of his department, even with transportation furnished by General Buckner's quartermaster? I think you will allow, major, that my orders in doing so should be distinct and unequivocal. They will be promptly obeyed, whatever they are.

I have to report, also, that a of supplies for the "free market," of Mobile, consisting of corn, lard, soap, pease, and a small quantity of meat, was this morning, after consultation with Major Mangum, commandant of the post, allowed to pass on its way. In doing so, after in investigation to satisfy me that its ostensible destination was the genuine one, I believed I was acting in accordance with the spirit of the letter of instructions of Major Mims of December 15, authorizing me to "make exceptional cases in favor of private parties who would necessarily suffer by being cut off in the transportation of corn. " I would be glad to know if my doing so is approved.

If Lieutenant General Pemberton's order has been revoked or abrogated from Richmond, and the Mobile and Ohio road licensed to drain this department of its supply of corn for the supply of Mobile, it will be unfortunate. I have reason to believe, and to believe, that there is in Alabama, contiguous to the Alabama River, and along the lines of her railroads, and ample supply of corn for the uses of the military forces within her limits. No such wise forecast, however, as that which has had control in this State having been exerted, it is held at such high prices that the suffering people turn to this department, not so much

Page 1068 APPENDIX.