Head Quarters, Dept. of the Ten.
Before Vicksburg, March 2d 1863.
LT. GEN. J. C. PEMBERTON,
COMD. G DEPT. OF MISS. & E. LA.
Maj. Gen. C. L. Stevenson's letter of the 24th Ult. 1 written at your dictation, was received last evening. This letter enclosed what purports to be a copy of an order issued by Admiral D. D. Porter to his Squadron 2 and make inquiry if it is authentic.
I will state that Admiral Porters command over the Miss. Squadron is as complete as mine over the Army in this Department, and that he alone is responsible for any orders he may issue. One thing however I can guarantee. Admiral Porter has never departed from the rules of civilized Warfare and never will unless driven to do so in retalliation for offences committed by persons who by their acts cease to be entitled to the treatment due soldiers captured in legitimate Warfare.
There has been much done by citizens of the Southern states that is not in accordance with any known rules of civilized warfare and for which they individually are responsible and can call for protection in their acts upon no people or Government. These are persons who are always in the guise of citizens and on the approach of an armed force remain at their homes professing to be in no way connected with the army, but entitled to all the indulgences allowed non-combattants in a country visited by an opposing army. These same persons, many of them, are ever ready to fire upon unarmed vessels, or to capture, and sometimes murder, small parties of Federal soldiers who may be passing. I do not here instance an isolated case but a rule that seems to have been adopted particularly in Mississippi and Arkansas.
In the absence of any standard authority on this subject I believe all persons engaged in War must have about them some insignia by which they may be known, at all times, as an enemy