War of the Rebellion: Serial 108 Page 0669 Chapter LXIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.- CONFEDERATE.

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V. There is now at Richmond a Louisiana Zouave battalion commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Coppens. I recommend that this battalion be sent to General Pryor without delay. They are doing but little service where they are, and can do a great deal on the Blackwater. General Pryor is very anxious to have, and is confident that if they are ordered to him he can double their numbers by recruits drawn from within the enemy's lines. I hope that these suggestions will receive the attention and approval of the major-general commanding the department.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. COLSTON,

Brigadier-General, Commanding at Petersburg, &c.

[Indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,

Magnolia, N. C., January 20, 1863.

I am informed that Lieutenant-Colonel Coppens is recruiting this command under General R. E. Lee's orders. If, however, the Adjutant and Inspector General will order them to the Blackwater, where they are much needed, he will add much to the defense of that line, which must not under any circumstances be lost if it can be prevented. In regard to remounting Lieutenant-Colonel Edmundson's battalion I have but one objection, and that is officers of cavalry and artillery are, so far as my experience goes, so utterly negligent of the care of their animals that they are of but little service. The man, owing to the officers, do not take proper care of their horses, whereby they become useless and the command of no service. If I had any assurance that it would be otherwise in this case I would recommend that they be remounted. Cavalry cannot handle rifles, sabers, and pistols at the same time. If some of the companies turn in their rifles and equipments, those companies might be armed with sabers and pistols alone. When armed with rifles they are for vedettes, and in a fight must dismount.

S. G. FRENCH,

[18.] Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,

January 12, 1863.

Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON, Secretary of War:

SIR: The chief commissary of this army has informed me that our beeves will hardly carry us through the present month. In fact, those which we are now using are very poor on account of the difficulty of procuring good grazing, and it would save great loss if these could be retained and fattened in the spring. I will be glad, therefore, if you will case arrangements to be made to supply us with salt meat, of which I hope the chief commissary has enough on hand to supply the army until we can again procure beeves in proper condition for use.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

[21.] General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,

January 12, 1863.

Colonel J. D. IMBODEN,

Commanding Partisan Corps, &c.:

COLONEL: Your letter of December 23 is received. Your reasons for desiring the transfer to your corps of the absentees from this army who