Special Orders, No. 31 (Department of the Mississippi) (April 28, 1862)

Updated: August 18, 2019

On April 28, 1862, Major General Henry W. Halleck merged the Army of the Tennessee, the Army of the Ohio, and the Army of the Mississippi to form one large army consisting of three corps.

SPECIAL FIELD ORDERS, No. 31

HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Pittsburg Landing, April 28, 1862.

I. The troops on the Tennessee River will retain their present organization of three distinct army corps, viz: The First, of the Tennessee, commanded by Major-General Grant, which will constitute the right wing; the Second, of the Ohio, commanded by Major-General Buell, which will constitute the center; and the Third, of the Mississippi, commanded by Major-General Pope, which will constitute the left wing.

The reserve will be formed of detachments ordered from the several army corps.

II. Each general commanding an army corps will be charged with its organization, discipline, and preparation for service in the field, as well as police in camp. Having his own staff and chiefs of administrative corps he will be held responsible that his troops are properly provided for through the quartermaster, commissary, ordnance, and medical departments. The commanding general will interfere in these matters only in cases of negligence or abuse.

III. Brigadier General A. J. Smith is chief of cavalry; Colonel f. D. Callender, chief of ordnance; Colonel J. V. D. Du Bois, chief of artillery; and Brigadier General H. M. Judah, inspector general of the entire army. Surg. Charles McDougall is chief medical director of the army in the field, and the medical directors of each army corps will report to and receive their orders from him. Major J. J. Key is provost-marshal-general in the field.

IV. In advancing into the interior the amount of transportation must be reduced as much as possible. To this end the commanders of army corps will regulate the number of wagons to each division, brigade, and regiment according to its effective force, not more than two tents being allowed to any company, and a corresponding reduction being made for all officers of the staff. The usual allowance of wagons per regiment will be thirteen, one for each company, two for field officers, staff, and surgeons, and one for extra ammunition. Where a regiment is greatly reduced the number of wagons will be diminished in proportion. All surplus regimental transportation will be turned over to the quartermaster's department for the general supply train.

V. Care will be taken that each regiment and battery is fully supplied with ammunition. In addition to the 40 rounds in the cartridge boxes, each man in going into a battle should carry upon his person 60 additional rounds, making 100 in all, a further supply being kept at a convenient distance in the rear. The chiefs of army corps and divisions will be held responsible for any want of ammunition, and the inspector-general and chief of artillery will report any neglect of preparation in this respect. When the cartridge boxes of the men are found unfilled, the commanding officer of the company will be arrested for neglect of duty.

VI. The commanding general is satisfied, from his own observation and from reports of others, that the sick list is greatly increased by the defective cooking of the soldiers' food. A company officer will be detailed to inspect the food at each meal and to see that it is properly cooked, and field and general officers will give this subject their particular attention. The soldier's health and comfort depends in a great measure upon the care and attention of his company and regimental officers, and those who neglect to provide and care for their men are unworthy to command. Medical officers should also give particular attention to the condition of the soldiers' food, and should instruct them in the manner of cooking it whenever they observe a want of knowledge in this respect.

By order of Major-General Halleck:

J. C. KELTON,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

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"Special Orders, No. 31 (Department of the Mississippi) ." (2019) In Ohio Civil War Central, Retrieved November 12, 2019, from Ohio Civil War Central: http://www.ohiocivilwarcentral.com/entry.php?rec=1750

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