War of the Rebellion: Serial 028 Page 0679 Chapter XXXI. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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will not interfere with your after prosecution of your present work, which may be continued upon your return, in which event it is hoped you will bring over all the horses and cattle to be procured west of the mountains. If Yankee money can be procured, a special agent will be sent forward to make, under your direction, the contemplated purchases. It is desired that you will send out of reach of the enemy all the leather which can be procured, advising Colonel Davidson, commanding at Staunton, whenever sending it out, in order that he may, as instructed, send wagons to transport it to Staunton.

The commanding general desires me to renew to you this thanks for the activity and energy you have displayed in your operations, and to express his best wishes and hopes for your success in the anticipated enterprise.

I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,


Assistant Adjutant-General.



Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: I have the honor to suggest, as one of the means of keeping men and officers with the army, that those who are absent on furlough or leaves of absence be not allowed to draw their pay while so absent. Those who are absent under orders on detached service would, of course, be paid as usual, but a regulation requiring that other absentees shall be paid when with their commands, and not be allowed to draw it elsewhere, would, I think, have a good in hastening their return, besides being more just to those who remain with the army.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,



Major General GUSTAVUS W. SMITH,

Commanding, &c., Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL: Your letters of the 16th and 18th instant* have been received. If, after filling up the regiments with you with the conscripts, you should find that you can do nothing better with them, they can be forwarded to this army,a s heretofore, especially those who have had measles, mumps, and the other camp diseases. I respectfully request that they all be revaccinated, as the small-pox has broken out in this army; and though but few cases have yet occurred (only twenty-five to yesterday) and two deaths, they are from various parts of the army, showing that the seeds of the disease have been widely disseminated. I concur with you in the opinion that the conscripts can be much sooner prepared for service by being incorporated in the old regiment, but so far they only served to fill the hospitals; still, I know the annoyance, and even injury, they will be, unless they can be properly organized under good and efficient officers, and, as you seem to think you are


*Not found.