On this day (November 5) in 1863, Major-General Alfred Pleasonton issued General Orders No. 42 from his headquarters:
The loss in officers and men sustained in this corps at the hands of guerrillas during the past few days demands the careful attention of all to prevent a recurrence in the future. The command is admonished that we are here in the field for military and not social purposes. Visiting in the families of the country in which our operations are conducted, riding for pleasure, either alone or in small parties, or even any unnecessary exposure when in the line of duty, are directly in violation of every recognized military principle. They will, therefore, be abstained from in future. Every house within or without the lines of the army is a nest of treason, and every grove lurking place for guerrilla bands. They are on that account to be watched and avoided.
Division commanders are expressly directed to give to this matter their earnest attention.
In the transmission of orders or the conduct of the public business, care will be taken that individuals or small parties are not unnecessarily exposed, and every effort will be made to confine all officers and men to such close attention to their duties as will remove all temptation to go beyond the lines of their immediate command.
Any infringement of the spirit of this order will be reported to these headquarters, that the appropriate remedy for such neglect of duty may be promptly applied.
By command of Major-General Pleasonton:
C. C. Suydam,
In context of these orders, Northern Virginia was entering its third fall of the war. No place for picnics and leisurely rides through the country.
(General Orders No. 42 is cited from OR, Series I, Volume 29, Part II, Serial 49, page 423.)