Sunday, April 29, 2012

Foraging at Shiloh & March on Corinth

On this day in 1862, General Grant addresses the problem of unauthorized foraging by the troops under his command.  Profiteering was strictly prohibited and considered an indication of a lapse in discipline which reflected poorly on the commanding officer.  Although specifically addressing past transgressions, this order was clearly intended to set the tone for the upcoming march on Corinth which officially begins on this date.  General Halleck, the auditor supreme, would surely hold Grant accountable for any violations and the old general's disdain for stragglers and thieves was well known.

Especially at this stage of the war, the belief at the War Department was that they could put down this rebellion and win back the hearts and minds of the southern people.  They wanted to minimize collateral damage and be respectful of private property to the extent possible.  Official foragers were instructed to buy supplies from local citizens and were given funds in US dollars to do so.

No. 47. In Field, Shiloh, April 29, 1862.

Division provost-marshals will immediately collect and turn over to the chief quartermaster all horses which have been heretofore captured, and are now held by officers, soldiers, servants, or other persons.

No officer not entitled to forage will be allowed to keep a private horse on any account whatever. Where officers not entitled to forage have horses which they claim as their own they will be required to make a certificate of the fact, stating when and how they obtained them, and if the evidence is satisfactory that the horses are their property a permit will be granted to ship or dispose of them.

No horse or other property once captured and afterward sold will be considered private property, and to avoid possible error, when property has ben [sic] purchased south of the Ohio River, evidence must be adduced to show that it was not captured.

Division commanders will see that this order is promptly executed. *

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