Friday, July 29, 2011

July 30, 1861 (Tuesday): On The Town

The Willard Hotel, Washington, D.C.

          No. 2                                                                 Washington, July 30, 1861.
   The general commanding the division has, with much regret, observed that large numbers of officers and men stationed in the vicinity of Washington are in the habit of frequenting the streets and hotels of the city.
   This practice is eminently prejudicial to good order and military discipline, and must at once be discontinued.
    The time and services of all persons connected with this division should be devoted to their appropriate duties with their respective commands.  It is therefore directed that hereafter no officer or soldier be allowed to absent himself from his camp and visit Washington, except for the performance of some public duty, or for the transaction of important private business, for which purposes written permits will be given by the commanders of brigades.  The permit will state the object of the visit.
    Brigade commanders will be held responsible for the strict execution of this order.
    Col. Andrew Porter, Sixteenth U. S. Infantry, is detailed for temporary duty as provost-marshall in Washington, and will be obeyed and respected accordingly.
    Colonel Porter will report in person at these headquarters for instructions.
    By command of Major-General McClellan:
                                                                                                S. WILLIAMS,
                                                                                    Assistant Adjutant-General.

Official Records, Series. I, Vol. 2, Page 769

Getting the army back in fighting trim after Bull Run would be no easy matter.  Removing them from places of public refreshment was an essential first step.  Porter had commanded Hunter’s Division at Bull Run after Hunter was wounded.  A veteran of the Mexican War at 41, Porter was regular Army and well suited to provost-marshall duties.

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