RICHMOND, February 17, 1864.
General R. E. LEE,
Commanding Army of Norther Virginia:
SIR: Your letter of yesterday is received. The demand for corn from General Longstreet's army took this Department by surprise, as I had been informed that a large cavalry force was permitted to remain with him, because the supply of forage there was abundant.
This sudden, change in the number of points to which corn must be sent has quite deranged the plans of this Department, but no effort will be spared to concentrate the supplies, as rapidly as possible, near your army. I have reported to the War Department that it will be impossible to supply forage to General Longstreet's forces for any length of time by railroad from Lynchburg. Corn transported from Georgia cannot perform the circuit of the Confederacy and return again almost to the borders of Georgia. Our railways cannot respond to such demands.
The inclosed reports* from Major Carrington will show you the efforts we are making to diminish consumption elsewhere and increase the supplies sent to you. The calls now made on us for corn by the commissary department constitute a new drain upon our limited stock. Never before has meal formed the chief ingredient of bread for your army.
The recent movements of troops in North Carolina has interfered seriously with transportation. Trains have been stopped by commanding officers and kept idle for several days. I sincerely wish they could all be as seriously impressed as you are with the injury thus sustained. I shall be only too happy, general, to adopt any suggestion you may think practicable to add to the support and comfort of your army.
A. R. LAWTON,
February 17, 1864.
Major General SAMUEL JONES,
Commanding Department of Western Virginia, Dublin:
GENERAL: The President has returned the papers in the matter of Brigadier General John S. Williams, with the following indorsement: "On the recommendation of General Sam. Jones the charges are dismissed."
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Adjutant and Inspector General.
[Numbers 45.]- JOINT RESOLUTION of thanks to the Thirty-seventh Mississippi Regiment.
Resolved by the Congress of the Confederate States of America, That the thanks of Congress are eminently due, and are hereby tendered, to the officers and men of the Thirty-ninth [Thirty-seventh] Mississippi Regiment for their patriotic determination to continue in the service until the independence of these States shall have been firmly established.