Today in History:

123 Series I Volume XX-II Serial 30 - Murfreesborough Part II


encouragement to these misguided men to lay down their arms, abandon the desperate cause in which they are embarked, return to their homes and families, and resume once the tranquil occupations of peace. All that will be exacted of those who will honestly do so will be to take the non-combatant's parole, and give proper security that they will keep it. So long as they faithfully observe this parole, obey the laws, and depot themselves as peaceable citizens, they shall not be molested by any officer or soldier belonging to this army. But if false to their pledges, and ungrateful for the generosity shown them; if they are found conveying information to the enemy, trafficking with him, aiding him with supplies or money, or in any other way violating the spirit of their engagements, they will be summarily dealt with,a s spies or perjured traitors, with the utmost rigor allowed by the laws of war.

By command of Major-General Rosecrans:


Assistant Adjutant-General and Chief of Staff.

WASHINGTON, December 5, 1862.

Major General W. S. ROSECRANS, Nashville:

GENERAL: You telegram of last evening, in explanation of your delay at Nashville is just received. My telegram was not a threat, but merely a statement of facts. The President is greatly dissatisfied with your delay, and has sent for me several times to account for it. He has repeated to me time and again that there were imperative reasons why the enemy should be driven across the Tennessee River at the earliest possible moment. He has never told me what those reasons were, but I imagine them to be diplomatic, and of the most serious character. You can hardly conceive his great anxiety about it. I will tell you what I guess it is, although it is only a guess on my part. It has been feared that on the meeting of the British Parliament, in January next, the political pressure of the starving operatives may force the Government to join France in an intervention. If the enemy be left in possession of Middle Tennessee, which we held last July, it will be said that they have gained on us. We have recovered all they gained on us in Kentucky, Virginia, Missouri, Arkansas, and Mississippi, and in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and Texas we have gained on them. Tennessee is the only State which can be used as an argument in favor of innervation by England. You will thus perceive that your movements have an importance beyond mere military success. The whole Cabinet are anxious, inquiring almost daily, "Why don't he move?" "Can't you make him move?" "There must be no delay." "Delay there will be more fatal to us than anywhere else." You will thus perceive that there is a pressure for you to advance much greater than you can possibly have imagined. It may be, and perhaps is, the very turning-point in our foreign relations. It was hoped and believed when you took the command that you would recover all lost ground by, at furthest, the middle of December, so that it would be known in London soon after the meeting of Parliament. It is not surprising that our Government should be impatient and dissatisfied under the circumstances of the case. A victory or the retreat of the enemy before the 10th of this month would have been of more value to us than ten times that success at a later date.