an order from the Department. I hope you will take speedy action in this matter, as it is a matter of extreme importance to get every able-bodied man back to the field as soon as we can.
I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
FEBRUARY 19, 1864.
Issue proper orders to sanction commission named.
J. A. S.,
Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
February 15, 1864.
Major General J. A. EARLY, Commanding Valley District:
GENERAL: Your letters of the 12th and 13th have been received. I do not know Manzy. Langley came to me once indorsed by Major Gilmor. Unless you can satisfy yourself they are true I wish to have nothing to do with them. Langley appeared to be zealous, and said he had been at one time employed by General Jackson. He came, I think, to General Hill when we were in Maryland with some information. He has a pass from the enemy. I consequently directed that he should not come to the army, but must give his information to the officer in the lower valley. I do not think either Generals Hill or Stuart know more of him than I do. When lat here he was paid $200 in Northern funds and $500 of the latter. He professed not to want pay for services, but only enough to defray his expenses. Before I can make any arrangements with him I must know more about them. Can you ascertain? Colonel Pendleton is not here now. I am glad to hear that the enemy has not reoccupied Petersburg, and that the report published in their papers of having recaptured Rosser's prisoners is untrue. I stated in a former letter that I desired you to return to your division as soon as you had arranged matters in the valley to the best advantage. I think you might manage to go to your home for a short time, and to be there the first Monday in March. You must write to me before you go, stating the condition of things, and also your post-office while absent, that I may inform you should your presence here be wanted. I have written to the Secretary of War in reference to Rosser's nomination. I am glad that you have disposed of the cattle, wagons, &c. One of the objects in sending Rosser to the valley was to enable him to recruit his horses and men and add to their numbers. I regret to hear that the hoof disease has appeared among the former. I fear it has been occasioned by hard work or too much grain. It was not my intention to put them at the ordinary duty, but merely to use them in cases of attack or emergency. I hoped that Imboden's men would have been competent for the general guard and picket duty, and would have exhibited more than ordinary firmness in consequence of the supporting force within reach. As soon as you can, I desire you to relieve Rosser of picket duty, that his whole attention may be devoted to recuperating his command, which will be wanted for hard service in the spring. Those men who brought the false alarm