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Brigham Family Papers: Transcripts - MS 755

Brigham Family - Other Transcripts - Special Field Order No. 120

H.Q.s Military Div. of the Miss.
In the Field, Kingston, Georgia

November 9th, 1864

Special Field Order
No 120

I. For the purpose of military operations, this Army is divided into two wings, viz:

The Right Wing, Maj. Gen O.O. Howard Commanding the Fifteenth and Seventeenth Corps;
The Left Wing, Maj. Gen. H.W. Slocum Commanding the Fourteenth and Twentieth Corps;

II. The habitual order of march will be whenever practicable by four roads as near parallel as possible, and convening at points hereafter to be indicated in orders. The Cavalry Brig. Gen. Kilpatrick commanding will receive special orders from the Commander-in-Chief.

III. There will be no general trains of supplies but each Corps will have its ammunition train distributed habitually as follows: Behind each regiment should follow one wagon and one ambulance; behind each brigade should follow a due proportion of ammunition wagons, provision wagons and ambulances. In case of danger each Army Corps Commander should change this order of march by having his advance and rear brigades unencumbered by wheels. The separate columns will start habitually at 7 A.M. and make about fifteen miles per day unless otherwise fixed in orders.

IV. The Army will forage liberally on the country during the march,: To this end each Brigade Commander will organize a good and sufficient foraging party under the command of one or more discreet officers who will gather near the route traveled. Corn or forage or any kind, meat of any kind, vegetables, cornmeal, or whatever is needed by the Command, aiming at all times to keep in the wagon trains at least ten days' provisions and three days' forage. Soldiers must not enter the dwellings of the inhabitants, or commit any trespass during the halt or a camp; they may be permitted to gather turnips, potatoes and other vegetables, and to drive in stock in sight of their camps. To regular foraging parties must be entrusted the gathering of provisions and forage at any distance from the road traveled.

V. To Army Corps Commanders is entrusted the power to destroy mills, houses, cotton gins, etc., and for them this general principle is laid down: in districts and neighborhoods where the Army is unmolested no destruction of such property should be permitted; but should guerrillas or bushwhakers molest our march, or should the inhabitants burn bridges, obstruct roads, or otherwise manifest local hostility, then Army Commanders should order and enforce a devastation more or less relentless, according to the measure of such hostility.

VI. As for horses, mules, wagons, etc., belonging to the inhabitants, the Cavalry and the Artillery may appropriate freely and without limit; discriminating, however, between the rich, who are usually hostile, and the poor or industrious usually neutral or friendly. Forging parties may also take mules or horses to replace jaded animals of their trains, or to serve as pack-mules for the regiments or brigades. In all foraging of whatever kind, the parties engaged will refrain from abusive or threatening language, and may, when the officer in charge thinks proper, give written certificates of the facts but no receipts, and they will endeavor to leave with each family a reasonable portion for their maintenance.

VII. Negroes, who are able-bodied and can be of service to the several columns, may be taken along; but each Army Commander will bear in mind that the questions of supplies is a very important one and that his first duty is to see to those who bear arms.

VIII. The organization at once of a good pioneer battallion for each Army Corps, composed if possible of Negroes, should be attended to. This battallion should follow the advance guard, should repair roads - and double them if possible, so that the columns will not be delayed after reaching bad places. Also Army Commanders should study the habit of giving the Artillery and wagons the road and marching their troops on one side; and also to instruct their troops to assist wagons at steep hills or bad crossing of streams.

IX. Captain O.M. Poe, Chief Engineer, will assign to each wing of the Army a pontoon train fully equipped and organized and the Commander thereof will see to its being properly protected at all times.

By order of

Maj. Gen. W.T. Sherman

(Signed) L.M. Dayton

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