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CHAPTER XVII.

GENERAL ORDERS OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT.

APPLICATIONS FOR INFORMATION CONCERNING LEAVES OF ABSENCE TO

OFFICERS, AND INSTRUCTIONS TO OFFICERS ON LEAVE OF ABSENCE.

1. LEAVES of absence can only be granted by the Secretary of War;* for which application must be made to the adjutant-general of the army, with surgeon's certificate of disability. Exccept, that the commander of an army, a department, or district, may give twenty days, if a change of location is immediately demanded to save life or prevent permanent disability.

2. When not otherwise specified, leaves of absence will commence the day an officer is relieved from duty at his post, after receiving the order granting him leave.

3. At the expiration of his leave, the officer must report in person with his command, and not at the office from which his leave issued.

4. No officer is permitted to visit Washington without special permission from the Secretary of War, which must be stated in the order granting leave of absence.

5. If an officer be not able to travel at the expiration of his sick leave, he must report his address to the commander of his post, regiment, or corps, and also to the adjutantgeneral of the army; and in his first report state the day when his leave of absence commenced. These reports must be repeated every twenty days, and each one must be accompanied by the certificate of a medical officer of the army, made in the usual form, and stating that the officer is not able to travel. If there is no army physician in the place where the officer resides, the certificate of a citizen physician, the truth of which must be sworn to before a civil magistrate, may be substituted. Extensions of leave are not granted in orders.

* The Secretary of War may from time to time delegate this authority to the commanders of departments or armies in the field.

6. Invalid and wounded officers, although their disability may not have been entirely removed, should go, as soon as they are able to travel—those whose regiments are serving in the East, to Annapolis ; those whose regiments are serving in the West, to Camp Chase, Ohio. At those points they will remain until able to proceed to their regiinents, or until an examining board may decide adversely on their ability to return to duty within a reasonable time, when orders will be given for their discharge.

7. The only excuses allowed for absence are :
1st. An order for leave (as described in paragraph 1).
2d. Disability from wounds received in service.
3d. Disability from disease that renders the party unfit

for military duty. But any officer whose health permits him to visit watering places, or places of amusement, or to make social visits, or walk about the town, city, or neighborhood in which he may be, will be considered fit for military duty, and as evading duty by absence from his command.

8. When an officer has been compelled by ill health, or wounds, to remain absent beyond the time granted him in orders, the surgeon's certificate which he forwards will authorize his absence, if it shall be found satisfactory. On his return to his command he may be tried by a court martial :

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or a military commission, appointed by the general commanding his division, army corps, or army, may examine his papers, and determine whether he was absent from proper and sufficient cause.

9. An officer cannot draw pay for any time of his absence after his leave granted in orders expires, until the court or commission which judges his case after his return to his command, reports favorably.

10. Officers of volunteer regiments who have been absent from duty more than sixty days on account of wounds, or disease contracted in the line of their duty, and who are still unable to return to duty, are liable to be honorably discharged, in order that their places may be filled by others fit for field service. For this class of officers Congress has provided pensions. If they subsequently become fit for active duty, they are eligible to a new appointment, at the discretion of the Governor of their State.

11. In case of continued disability for active duty, officers who have made the reports described in paragraph 5, may, if they so desire, tender their resignations direct to the adjutant-general of the army.

APPLICATION FOR FURLOUGH OR EXTENSION OF FURLOUGH.

Furloughs to soldiers sick in general hospitals cannot be granted except by spe.

cial authority from the War Department-either in each individual case, or general authority to the department commander to grant such furloughs.

General Orders, No. 65, of 1862.

III. Furloughs will not be given by captains of companies or colonels of regiments on any pretext whatever. * A furlough from such authority will not relieve a soldier from the charge of desertion.

Enlisted men absent from their regiments without prop

See act of Congress approved March 3d, 1863.

er authority, are in fact deserters, and not only forfeit all pay and allowances, but are subject to the penalties awarded by law to such offenders. No plea of sickness, nor other cause not officially established, and no certificate of a physician in civil life, unless it be approved by some officer acting as a military commander, will hereafter avail to remove the charge of desertion, or procure arrears of pay, when a soldier has been mustered as absent from his regiment without leave.

By application to the Governors of their States, or to any military commander, or United States mustering officer in a city, transportation can be procured to their regiments by soldiers who are otherwise able to join them.

Where no military commander has been appointed, the senior officer of the army on duty as mustering or recruiting officer of the place, is hereby authorized and required to act (in that capacity until another may be appointed.

General Orders, No. 72, of 1862. III. No more furloughs will be granted to paroled prisoners. All furloughs heretofore given to them are revoked; and all prisoners now at large on their parole, pr who may hereafter be paroled by the rebel authorities, will immediately repair—if belonging to regiments raised in the New England and Middle States, to the camp of instruction established near Annapolis, Md. ; if belonging to regiments raised in the States of Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan, to Camp Chase, near Columbus, Ohio; if belonging to regiments raised in the States of Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Missouri, to the camp near Jefferson Barracks, Mo.,—and report for such duty, compatible with their parole, as may be assigned to them by the officers in command of said camps. And all, whether officers or soldiers, who fail to comply with this order within the space of time necessary for them to do so, will be accounted deserters, and dealt with accordingly.

General Orders, No. 78, of 1862.

Paragraph I. The many evils which arise from giving furloughs to enlisted men, require that the practice shall be discontinued. Hospitals, provided with ample medical attendance, nurses, food, and clothing, are established by the Government, at great expense, not only near the scenes of active military operations, but in many of the Northern States. When it is expedient and advisable, sick and wounded patients may, under the direction of the surgeongeneral, be transferred in parties, but not in individual cases, to hospitals at the North; and as far as practicable, the men will be sent to States in which their regiments were raised, provided United States hospitals have been established there. Such regulations will be adopted at all the hospitals as will permit relatives and friends to visit the patients, and furnish them with comforts, at such hour's and in such manner as will not interfere with the discipline of the hospitals and the welfare of the mass of patients. The men will thus be under the fosteriny care of the Government while unfit for duty ; will be in position to be promptly discharged, if proper; and, being always under military control, will be returned to their regiments as soon as they are able to resume their duties. The unauthorized removal of soldiers from under the control of the United States au. thorities, by any agents whatever, subjects them to loss of pay and other penalties of desertion.

General Orders, No. 92, of 1862. The absence of officers and privates from their duty under various pretexts, while receiving pay, at great expense and burden to the Government, makes it necessary that efficient measures be taken to enforce their return to duty, or that their places be supplied by those who will not take pay while rendering no service. This evil, moreover, tends greatly to discourage the patriotic impulses of those

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