post. He is not the service, as I am informed. The enemy has released him and he has returned, I learn, with his horse and cart. I want to understand something about his case. Would it not be best to send for him, and if he refuses to come have him arrested and brought here? I had determined at one time to send for him without consulting you, but have concluded it would be advisable to confer with you in reference to his case. He may have taken the oath, for all I know, and I ought to see him. Coming back with his horse and cart looks suspicious, indeed.
I have supplied the post at Gill & Ladd's with two men from Robertson's command [Thirty-second Battalion Virginia Cavalry]; they come to me as reliable men. I was positive with Robertson in my direction not to send any but trusty men. I am afraid I shall not be enabled to correct the dilatory habits of this line of couriers without personally visiting each post. I sent an officer along the line yesterday to Crenshaw's with positive directions to the men at each post. His visit has not had the effect that I desired; they are still as slow as ever. It is not important that this shall go before the morning; I may have something to add by then.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. CALVIN COUNCIL,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Post.
Sunday morning.-I shall send for Dr. T. without waiting to hear from you.
Richmond, Va., December 13, 1862.
Major-General ELZEY, Commanding, &c.:
GENERAL: The major-general commanding directs that you will forthwith place General Davis' brigade in position south of the James River to support Generals Daniel or Wise or to take the cars for Petersburg as circumstances may require. Let the brigade move at once. The brigade will bring rations (of which they six days on hand), and their camp equipage should follow them to their position over the river. Their rations may be cooked after arriving at their position.
Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
SAML. W. MELTON,
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
Chaffin's Farm, Va., December 14, 1862.
Lieutenant Colonel J. C. COUNCIL,
COLONEL: Yours of last night reached me within this hour. You have done right to examine Dr. Taylor. Be careful how you trust any of the timid occupants of a section held by the enemy. Some are traitors; some love their property better than public liberty. Do not trust Dr. Taylor any more, but make him serve. Be particular as to your couriers; they are improving at this end of the line. Major Robertson must be held responsible for the discipline and conduct of his men. Be positive, firm, and unyielding to all the cavalry; they all need the strictest discipline. I will endeavor to visit your whole line of couriers, posts,