General Order Number 3 to Army of Mississippi
General Orders, Hdqrs. Army of the Mississippi
No. 3. Jackson, Tenn., March 14, 1862
I. Field and company officers are specially enjoined to instruct their men, under all circumstances, to fire with deliberation at the feet of the enemy; they will thus avoid overshooting, and, besides, wounded men give more trouble to our adversary than his dead, as they have to be taken from the field.
II. Officers in command must be cool and collected in action, hold their men in hand, and caution them against useless, aimless firing. The men must be instructed and required each one to single out his mark. It was the deliberate sharpshooting of our forefathers in the Revolution of 1776 and at New Orleans in 1815 which made them so formidable against the odds which they were engaged.
III. In the beginning of a battle, except by troops deployed as skirmishers, the fire by file will be avoided; it excites the men and renders their subsequent control difficult; fire by wing or company should be resorted to instead. During the battle the officers and non-commissioned officers must keep the men in the ranks, enforce obedience, and encourage and simulate them, if necessary.
IV. Soldiers must not be permitted to quit the ranks to strip or rob the dead, nor even to assist in removing our own dead, unless by special permission, which shall only be given when the action is decided. The surest way to protect our wounded is to drive the enemy from the field; the most pressing highest duty is to win the victory.
V. Before the battle the quartermaster of the division will make all the necessary arrangements for the immediate transportation of the wounded from the field. After consultation with the medical officers, he will establish the ambulance depot in the rear, and give his assistants the necessary for the efficient service of the ambulance wagons and other means of transportation.
VI. The ambulance depot, to which the wounded are to be carried or directed for immediate treatment, should be established at the most convenient building nearest the field of battle. A red flag marks the place and the way to it.
VII. The active ambulances follow the troops to succor the wounded and to remove them to the depots. Before the engagement about five men (the least effective under arms) to the company will be detailed to assist the ambulance conductors in removing the wounded, providing water, and otherwise assisting the wounded. These men will not loiter about the depots, but must always return to the field of battle as soon as practicable.
VIII. Before and immediately after battle the roll of each company will be called, and absentees must strictly account for their absence from the ranks. To quit their standard on the battle-field, under fire, under the pretense of removing or aiding the wounded, will not be permitted; any one persisting in it will be shot on the spot, and whosoever shall be found to have quit the field or his regiment or company without authority will be regarded and proclaimed as a coward, and dealt with accordingly.
By command of General Beauregard: