My attention was thus called to a subject which I have previously brought to your notice, viz, the saddles and carbines manufactured in Richmond. I could not examine them myself, but was assured by officers that the former ruined the horses` backs, and the latter were so defective as to be demoralizing to the men.
I am aware of the difficulties attending the manufacture of arms and equipments, but I suggest that you have the matter inquired into by your ordnance officers, and see if they cannot rectify the evils complained of. It would be better, I think, to make fewer articles, and have them serviceable. The English saddles which you import are said to be good. It is the tree of the Richmond saddle that is complained of.
I am, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, June 8, 1863.
Chairman of the Ambulance Committee, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: I have received a letter of June 6, from Surgeon [St. George Tucker] Peachey, in behalf of your committee. I am under great obligations to them for their services to the sick and wounded of this army, from the battles around Richmond to the present time. I thank them for this renewed offer of extended service, and will always notify you when I am in a position to avail myself of their valuable aid.
Upon consultation with the chief surgeon of the army, Dr. Guild, I do not see that it would be of any benefit to the service for the committee to accompany the army in any movement which the campaign may render necessary. It would be a serious inconvenience to the members of the committee, and they would be without employment, excepting after a battle. Moreover, it would be impossible, with the present limited transportation of the army, to furnish the number of wagons necessary for the committee and its supplies.
The greatest benefit which the committee can do to the wounded is to continue the same services which they have hitherto performed; to give them their tender care in their transportation to the hospitals; to furnish them with such supplies as will alleviate their painful journey, and thus relieve much suffering and save many valuable lives to the country.
I am, with much respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
SPECIAL ORDERS, Numbers 154.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, June 8, 1863.
I. A board, to consist of not less than three nor more than six artillery officers, to be designated by the chief of artillery, Army of Northern Virginia, will meet on the 1st of each month, or as soon thereafter as practicable, to report such facts in regard to the artillery and projectiles in use in this army as may have come to their knowledge, and to make any suggestions in regard to changes and improve-