ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 96.
Richmond, Va., July 13, 1863.
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VIII. Captain Stephen D. Lee, corps of artillery, on being relieved in the duties of quartermaster and commissary by Captain H. C. Guerin, assistant commissary, Provisional Army, will repair to this city and report to the Adjutant-General.
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By command of the Secretary of War:
Near Wytheville, July 12, 1861.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
President of the Confederate States:
DEAR SIR: I have been constantly occupied in bringing together the volunteers at this point from an area of 250 miles one way and 100 the other, very large portions of which are without railroad facilities. Our first regiment started to-day, and the other two will be ready to follow as soon as we get arms and ammunition and some camp equipage, for which requisitions have already been made for some time. The want of field and staff officers has retarded us somewhat, although there is not much room for complaint of tardiness when it is remembered that three regiments have been raised since the 29th day of May, when the first companies were mustered into the service. Some delay is experienced from the necessity of repairing the arms of the country, which we have had to collect in a great measure for our use. An energetic man with some machinery has a set of gunsmiths here for the purpose, who have accomplished a great deal; but every gun needed some repair. We will be at a greater loss for cavalry arms, and for these I scarcely know what to do, as I learn the Department have none at all. In a day or so I will submit to you nominations for the third or last regiment, which, unless you have some who from your own knowledge are exactly the right men, I would earnestly recommend for field appointments. I sent special and trusty messengers to the border of Kentucky to ascertain exactly the condition of things there. I send you a copy of the letters received from these men, showing the impression made on them at that time. The have since returned and fully communicated all the detailed information they possessed. From this and other sources I gather that there is much disaffection in Kentucky, although probably a majority are with the South. There is no doubt but that arms have been distributed by Lincoln to the Union men in the mountain region of Kentucky, and that the distribution is still going on. They are able to convey these arms openly through the country until they draw near the Tennessee line. None have reached Tennessee yet, nor are they likely to do so, as a strong guard is posted at Cumberland Gap and other points west of it. The sentiment in all the Virginia counties, clear along our borders to within twenty-five miles of the Ohio River, is perfectly sound, and the local population would no doubt capture any arms that might find their way over the borders.
If the exigencies of the Government would allow, it would, I think, be judicious to establish a large depot for Southern troops at an eligible