was very difficult to induce McNeil across the mountains, and I think he will do nothing after all. If you wish to communicate with me do so by the road upon which this courier will ride.
Most respectfully, yours,
T. L. ROSSER,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, February 1, 1864.
Major General S. JONES,
Commanding Department of Western Virginia:
GENERAL: The tithe collector for the eleventh Congressional district of Virginia has forwarded to Colonel Larkin Smith, the chief tithe collector, a complaint of the action of Colonel W. L. Jackson's command in collecting the tithes in Rochbridge Country. Colonel Smith has sent the paper to me. I think it would be well for Colonel Jackson to forage his command farther west, and as far from the lines of railway as possible, so as to eat up the forage not accessible otherwise. He is now drawing on the resources of this army, and it is a very difficult matter to get even a small supply for our animals. It is very important also that none but specially authorized quartermasters and commissaries collect this tax in kind. All other persons should be sent to the depots of the tax in kind for supplies.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS, February 1, 1864.
MAJOR: On my return I proposed to General Gordon to place a regiment on the plank road for picket duty, and he is to let me know to-day if he can do this. His answer shall be telegraphed to you. The other brigade has not been moved, owing to the rumored advance of the enemy form the Peninsula. I shall be compelled to move it, however, as the supply of forage within reach is exhausted, and the railroad furnishes very little. Only on shipment came last week, and none is expected till Tuesday, while in the mean time a part of the command has none. I sent Captain Trezevant to make an investigation of move 60 miles to procure forage. Shall Butler's brigade be moved that distance? It is absolutely necessary to make charge, for the decreased strength of this brigade makes me fear that it will be unfit for duty at the opening of the campaign. I inclose a paper* showing the alarming decrease in this command, which, if not promptly remedied, will soon dismount every man in unfortunate condition of affairs, in the hope that he may be able to suggest a remedy. Within the last twelve mounts upward of 2,000 horses have been brought on the this brigade, besides those which were captured, and now not 500 men can be mounted on serviceable horses.
I am, very respectfully,