this side, the want of means of communication on the part of some of the regiments, and the inexperience of most of the commanders, have caused the supplies to be irregularly and insufficiently furnished. One regiment has hired on its own account, out of private means, some wagons to procure its supplies. Forage has also been waiting. A depot is to be established at Alexandria, which will afford supplies to the troops in that vicinity. The depot in Washington might answer for all the others, provided the regiments be furnished with wagons to go for them. I suppose the Quartermaster's Department in Washington has not at this time enough wagons to supply the force here with its allowance for its baggage merely, which would require about 200.
For the purpose of giving greater efficiency and a better administration of affairs, I have organized the troops not now brigaded into three brigades, and placed them under the colonels ordered to report to me in their letters of appointment. If a portion of the allowance of wagons for the regimental baggage were sent on and placed under the control of the brigade commanders, I think a better state of affairs will be gained at the least cost. With a view to movements in that direction, I have directed Colonel Stone to ascertain and report the amount of rolling stock on the Alexandria and Manassas Gap Railroad, and the amount of material required to place the road in working order.
I beg to request that some of the recent graduates heretofore assigned to the duty of instructing the volunteer regiments may be sent here for the same purpose and other duty. The only assistant quartermaster in the department is at Alexandria, to be in charge of the Quartermaster's and Commissary Departments. I have to request that another officer of that department, furnished with funds, be sent for duty at headquartermasters. The troops are occupying houses in some cases, and fields, and cutting wood for fuel. Shall not rent and compensation be paid? If so, funds are needed for that purpose, as well as the hiring of means of transportation where the same has not been furnished.
I have the honor to be, colonel, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT HORTHEASTERN VIRGINIA,
May 29, 1861.
Lieutenant Colonel E. D. TOWNSEND,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Hdqrs. Army, Washington, D. C.:
COLONEL: There have been rumors of outrages committed by volunteers in Alexandria. Colonel Butterfield, of the Twelfth New York, has reported several cases of trespass, depredations, and attempts at burglary in his vicinity.
I am aware we are not, theoretically speaking, at war with the State of Virginia, and we are not, here, in an enemy's country; but if the ordinary courts and officers of the State, against whose peace and dignity it is these acts have been committed, are not in the exercise of their functions, shall not these cases be punished, as similar ones were in Mexico, by military commission? It is a question of policy which, being so near at hand, I beg to submit to the General-in-Chief.
In connection with this subject I will mention that the battalion of Georgetown Volunteers at the head of the Chain Bridge are reported as acting harshly towards the inhabitants on this side, whom they charge