ment of guard posts and trafficking with prisoners have so often been passed over by their officers without punishment, that the men seem to fell that they may violate all orders with impunity. Two men, Langruth by name, have been released without punishment for the crime of a second desertion, though they were arrested in the attempt to get to a gun-boat of the enemy. The remedy is not within my control These men are liable only to a trial by a court composed of militia officers. Since the present guard has been posted at the Libby Prison, seventy of them have deserted their posts in one day, leaving their guns in reach of the prisoners and endangering the security of the city. Eighteen hundred prisoners have been received in the last twenty-four hours, and an additional guard is absolutely necessary. While I regret extremely to make any request which will weaken your force at the front,m I fell it my duty to request that the Nineteenth Virginia Militia be placed on some other duty than that of guard in the city. The invalid corps on belle Isle is effectually broken up by the recent order which directs none to be assigned but those soldiers permanently disabled. If those now on duty at Belle Isle be allowed to remain an additional guard of 250 men will enable me to guard the prisoners. I respectfully call the attention of the lieutenant-general commanding to a communication addressed through him to the Adjutant and Inspector General, which give in detail the difficulties in respect to the guard under which I have labored since appointed to the command of this post. Action on that communication, which I respectfully urge, amy remedy the evils complained of.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. M. GARDNER,
P. S.-The guard called for should be furnished immediately.
W. M. GARDNER,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Post.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF RICHMOND,
Chaffin's, October 23, 1864.
Brigadier General W. M. GARDNER, Commanding Post of Richmond:
GENERAL: In reply to your communication of this date, asking for additional guard in the city, the lieutenant-general commanding directs me to say that he cannot weaken his force here in front of the enemy without first consulting with General Lee, and that in the meantime you will have to get men from Camp Lee.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. W. PEGRAM,
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
Colonel Evans has 298 privates for duty. Captain Potts has on Belle Isle 110 invalids. Lieutenant Bates ha sat Confederate [Barracks
sixty invalids. The invalids are for the most part not fit for guard duty. The President's guard are not used for any duty but at his mansion.
HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
October 24, 1864.
General R. E. LEE, Commanding, &c.:
GENERAL: There have been no operations of my command lately which required a report, and I have been engaged in assisting the