War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0092 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

Search Civil War Official Records

HARPER'S FERRY, April 19, 1862

(Received 8.55 a. m.)

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

Arrived here 12 last night. Looking after shoes. Picket rope and forage indispensable to the command before it moves. Bivouacked 5 miles from Winchester. Am pleased to report troops look all right. Like them.

W. S. ROSECRANS,

Brigadier-General, U. S. Army.

HARPERS' FERRY, VA., April 19, 1862.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: At the risk of being considered too suggestive I take the liberty of urging the Government to adopt the policy of paying the inhabitants of the country we pass through for all property taken from them for public use in Treasury notes instead of giving them certificates, because --

1. This mode of payment, supported by the authority of a call for contributions, will promptly give us all the supplies the country can furnish. the importance of this may be conceived in part by considering the expense of our transportation and of even a day's delay of a single column. If cannot be overestimated.

2. It will be a great economy. Certificates usually give the highest prices asked and are even then unsatisfactory. In this way we fix fair, moderate prices, leaving the owners of the property neither option nor legal responsibility for the sale.

3. It has an air of fair dealing, evincing the justice and moderation of that Government which they have so often heard accused of tyranny and thievery and oppression by the lawless conspirators, who have tried by every species of falsehood to inspire them with hatred against it.

4. It will at once distinguish between the Government levies and the numberless reckless and thieving appropriations that tare now serving to embitter and confirm the weak and wavering inhabitants of this valley against the Union, while familiarity with our bills would inspire both a real interest and a feeling of attachment to the Government.

5. Our present policy, while it is more expensive, is regarded by them in the light of plunder. They find Government officers have no funds, or their certificates are informal, &c., and abandon hope.

the language of our actions should represent trebly the energetic but firm and just policy of the Government; not courting but kindly regarding the true interests and feelings of the people.

The effect of this would be felt not only here but all over the valley of Virginia and farther South. It is very important that this policy should be promptly adopted.

I have asked that the quartermasters and commissaries of Blenker's division be supplied with funds for our march.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. S. ROSECRANS,

Brigadier-General, U. S. Army.