War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 1107 Chapter XXXIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.

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is comparatively narrow between the Ohio River and the lakes, and all lines of communication east and west pass over it. With a proper force there, we could compel the enemy to give us battle upon ground of our own selection, and this, I think, would be decisive of the issue.

I presume there is not a man in Virginia who would ever consent to any terms of peace without a restitution of every inch of our soil to its right full jurisdiction and possession. But, in addition to this sentiment of patriotism, the position of the territory and the immeasurable mineral riches of the country render it absolutely indispensable to the national greatness of Virginia now held by the enemy than are to be found in the United kingdom of Great Britain. The timber and the waterpower of the same section are of inestimable value. All the elements of true national power are abundantly met with throughout that whole region. I do not think too much attention, or too much money, or too much blood can be expended to preserve to Virginia this noble heritage. The people of that part of the west now overrun by the enemy, it must be borne in mind, are generally loyal and rue to the Commonwealth, and, no doubt, would have shown becoming zeal in her defense, if the country had not been continuously occupied by the enemy from a very early period of the war. They would, in my opinion, return with great alacrity to our standard if an opportunity to do so was offered to them. The report of the expenditures for our troops is laid before the Legislature in a document submitted by the adjutant-general of the Common-wealth.

About the correctness of this statement i can say nothing, for, under an order of the Governor, the quartermasters, through whose hands these expenditures were chiefly made, were taken from under my command, and were consequently neither subject to my orders nor supervision. This document, however, shows that the entire sum of money drawn by the quartermasters under my command, and actually in the field, amounts to only $83,500. The balance of the money drawn from the treasury must be represented by supplies still on hand in possession of the quartermasters, set apparat by the Governor for his exclusive command. if this be so, then there are on hand, purchased and paid for,sufficient supplies to furnish the present force for a year to come. The supplies issued to the men up to the day I left camp were extremely small. The men were still in bitter want of tents, clothes, blankets, cooking utensils, and even axes. Nor were there picks and spades enough for the most common and necessary purposes. This state of things, so disorganizing and hurtful to the service, must remain and become worse unless the quartermasters are subject to the orders of the commanding general. I have, as stated to the committee, prepared such amendments to the law as are essential to give it efficiency, and which are very necessary, whether the force is maintained by the Commonwealth or shall be transferred to the Confederacy. The organization is at present, under the act, unlike any other whatever in any service, and is, indeed, impossible of execution according to the strict letter of the statute. The amendments are few and simple, but essential to give efficiency to the command.

With a hope that have in some sort met the request of the committee in furnishing these views, although from the necessary hurry in which it has been done I know they are imperfect, I remain, sir very respectfully, our obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding Virginia State Line.