and imprisonment of our best citizens on mere suspicion to cease, and the best assurance will be given you that we shall have no more Union meetings here.
J. J. SLOAN.
FEBRUARY 9, 1864.
Am always grateful to receive information of the sentiments of the people. I differ, however, altogether as to the means of preventing disaffection. The persons engaged in making these complaints do not seek their removal, else they would apply and submit evidence to the authorities. They delight to make or exaggerate evils necessarily incident to our condition, and which their own proceedings increase. They would find causes of complaint if they were allowed to point out their own blunders, and then desire encouragement form the supposed yielding of the Government. A firmer and higher tone on the part of the loyal and true men is the best way both to answer and repress this. There is not a particle of justice in the allegations against General Winder. That officer may err in being sometimes overzealous, but his honor, honesty, and loyalty are beyond all question. I wish his accusers had half his purity and devotion to our great cause. Deny all such allegations, and invite the production of proof to the Department, which will investigate them without fear or favor.
J. A. S.
RICHMOND, VA., February 4, 1864.
General R. E. LEE,
Commanding Army of Northern Virginia, near Orange C. H., Va.:
I see no present necessity for your sending troops here. Will write by mail.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA,
Dublin, February 4, 1864.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I have heard a report that I will soon be relived from the command of this department at my own request. I have never made such a request, but it may be that some person or persns who have been anxious for some time to have me removed have represented to you or the President, or both, that it would be agreeable to me to be relieved from this command. May I ask if any such representation has been made to you or, so far as you know, to the President? If so, I respectfully ask that the order relieving me be not issued until you hear further form me on the subject. You will, of course, not understand me as asking you to tell me of any representation that has been made to the President which the President himself is not peectly willing I should know.
With great respect, your obedient servant,