You are assigned to the command with your headquarters at San Francisco, and are relieved from your present command hereby. Acknowledge receipt.
By order of the Secretary of War:
E. D. TOWNSEND,
FORT MONROE, VA., June 25, 1865.
(Received 10.35 a.m.)
Colonel T. S. BOWERS,
In pursuance to instructions from Major-General Weitzel I have the honor to report that the last of the Twenty-fifth Army Corps will leave on Monday, the 26th instant, for Texas.
CHAS. S. RUSSELL,
Bvt. Brigadier General, Commanding on Board Steamer North Star.
HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE JAMES,
Richmond, Va., June 26, 1865.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: In accordance with your orders I assumed command of the division on the 22nd of April last. General Lee's Army of Northern Virginia had surrendered to General Grant and been paroled, but large bans not included in that capitulation were still waging hostilities in other parts of the State, and the rebel governor still claimed to exercise the executive functions and authority. Since then Mr. Smith, the rebel governor, has surrendered and been paroled, subject to military orders, and all the hostile military organizations have capitulated and disbanded on the same terms as those given to the army of General Lee. There is now no organized or irregular hostile force within the limits of the State. There are unquestionably a few armed robbers, and brigands in the mountains and prowling about the larger cities and towns, but they are probably made up as much from deserters from the Union armies as from rebel guerrilla bands. They are simply outlaws, and are treated as such. A broad distinction must be made between the depredations of such men and those incident to the disbanding of the armies of Lee and Johnston and the return of our victorious soldiers to their homes. The latter, in marching through a conquered country after their toils and victories, committed some excesses, but perhaps not more than should have been expected under the circumstances. The disbanded rebel soldiers were generally without food or means of transportation, and were obliged to either beg or plunder the means of subsistence on the way to their homes. No one could expect them to starve when there was food within their reach. Although the people of Virginia have suffered terribly from these causes I do not see that it could have been avoided. It was one of the necessary evils of rebellion and war, and the blame must rest upon those who caused the war. Our officers have generally done the best they could to mitigate these evils, and it is due to the disbanded rebel officers and troops to say that they have conducted themselves with great moderation and propriety. On my arrival in this city was crowded with troops. Some 10,000 or 15,000 rebel soldiers mingling in the streets with a larger number of our own