Care should be taken that horses fit for military service be selected, and that only horses absolutely needed for agriculture be left in possession of persons believed to be disloyal. Receipts should be given for these horses according to the form inclosed, promising payment only after the suppression of the rebellion, and upon proof that the person from whom they may be received has conducted himself from the date of the receipt as a loyal citizen of the United States and has not given aid and comfort to the rebels.
In levying this contribution you will be careful to make it fall as far as possible upon those who have been heretofore disloyal.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS RAILROAD DISTRICT, Wheeling, Va., April 9, 1862.
Commanding Mountain Department, Wheeling, Va.:
GENERAL: Refugees, who fled from the western counties of this State on the breaking out of this rebellion and joined the Southern Army, are returning with commissions from Governor Letcher to recruit "Mounted Rangers," "in the disloyal part of the State," for the purpose of carrying on a system of guerrilla warfare. To frustrate this scheme, and enable me to kill or capture these desperate men I require a cavalry force that has a knowledge of the country which has to be scouted, and whose officers are well acquainted with the public and private roads, mountain passes, streams, fords, and ferries.
Two companies of Pennsylvania cavalry, now with General Banks' division, who served under my command for several months last summer and fall, are perfectly familiar with the country embraced in my district. They are the Ringgold Cavalry, Captain John Keys, and the Washington Cavalry, Captain A. J. Greenfield. They are independent companies-not attached to any regiment. And as I learn General Banks' has a large cavalry force, and would doubtless be perfectly willing to have the two companies ordered to report for service in this district, may I therefore ask you to make an application to the Secretary of War for the above companies? I am fully satisfied that the interests of the service will be largely promoted, and the safety of our people, their persons and property, rendered more secure by this measure.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
B. F. KELLEY,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Railroad District.
HEADQUARTERS MOUNTAIN DEPARTMENT, Wheeling, Va., April 10, 1862.
Respectfully referred to the honorable Secretary of War, with the recommendation that the two companies of cavalry named may be assigned for duty in the Railroad District of this department, with directions to report to Brigadier General B. F. Kelley.
J. C. FREMONT,