"HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE MISSISSIPPI
Steamer Tigress, January 17, 1863.
Maj. Gen. WILLIAM T. SHERMAN,
Commanding Fifteenth Army Corps:
GENERAL: Take measures immediately to extinguish the flames which are consuming Napoleon, and find if possible the incendiaries and punish them. Place guards to stop the scandals which are being perpetrated by worthless men.
By order of Maj. Gen. John A. McClernand:
WALTER B. SOATES,
Lieutenant- Colonel and Assistant Adjutant- General."
"HEADQUARTERS FIFTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
On board Forest Queen, January 17, 1863.
Lieut. Col. WALTER B. SCATES,
SIR: Pursuant to your orders, this 4 p. m. I went in person to direct the extinguishment of the fire in Napoleon. It was impossible to extinguish it. I first tried to limit it to the middle of the block but failed, but by the destruction of a store and barn at the end of the block limited the fire to one block.
It is impossible to find out the incendiary; not a clue can now be found. In some future time the actor will boast of it, when it can be fixed on him. In the mean time the only way to apply a remedy will be to assess the damages upon the whole army, officers included. No man in the army has labored harder than I have to check this spirit in our soldiers, and am free to admit we all deserve to be killed unless we can produce a state of discipline when such disgraceful acts cannot be committed unpunished.
In consequence of the order to start at 12 m. I had called in my provost guard and pickets, and most of my boats are below gathering wood, but I have ordered a guard to patrol the town. I am, with respect, your obedient servant,
W. T. SHERMAN
Major- General, Commanding Corps."
"No man in the army has labored harder than I have to check this spirit in our soldiers, and am free to admit we all deserve to be killed unless we can produce a state of discipline when such disgraceful acts cannot be committed unpunished." Sherman
In the military to be ordered to correct the actions of your men by your superior is pretty bad. Sounds like he was very self-conscience of his reputation, and was under some sort of pressure to change his ways.