other places. They have their places of meeting on the other side. They get caught occasionally, but always get off by bringing the guards. They report to Major Richardson at Gordonsville. Others get from Grafton to Staunton . A great number of teams make their way that way to Staunton.
The people everywhere and soldiers except peace shortly, for, they say, various reason; some say from dissensions among parties, others again other thoughts, but they help to keep them up it spirits. Others [think] that Secretary will be turned out of the Cabinet, and [say] that would be better than 100,000 men killed.
I find in my travels through Pennsylvania that there are a great number of deserters all through the whole State, as well as an immense lot of Government property carried home by those deserters, sutlers, and others. Almost every man in the country has a rifle, saddle, or something else belonging to the Government.
I have the honor to remain, your most obedient servant,
Of General Banks' Secret Service.
P. S.-If you would grant me an interview, I would like it much, as I could inform you of a great many things that I cannot write about.
FEBRUARY 17, 1863.
Respectfully referred to General Schenck for his information, to be returned.
H. W. HALLECK,
HEADQUARTERS MILROY'S DIVISION,
Winchester, Va., February 15, 1863.
This will be handed you by Lieutenant-Colonel Starr, of the Ninth [West] Virginia, who goes to Baltimore for the double purpose of obtaining some medical treatment that he cannot obtain here (he having a surgeon's certificate showing its necessity), and of escorting to your headquarters two ladies just from La Grange, Ga., by way of Richmond and Staunton, to this place, by means of a pass from the rebel Secretary of War. Mrs. N. A. Wilson and daughter, Miss G. C. Wilson, are the two ladies referred to. The mother brings her invalid daughter North for the ostensible purpose of procuring medical treatment, but more for the purpose of escaping rebel insults, tyranny, and the increasing misery of the South, they being natives of Herkimer County, New York, to which they are returning, having been residents of La Grange, Ga., for a number of years as milliners and dressmakers. They are destitute of funds, except some Confederate scrip, which is worthless, as they leave Dixie, and I send them on their way as far as Baltimore. Mrs. W. can give you march interesting information about Southern society and the extremity and misery to which they have been reduced by the war. She can also tell what she was heard of their general designs and movements, especially against this place. Colonel Starr can post you as to matters here. This place being the first place to be attacked (if rebels west of the Blue Ridge in great force), and the key to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, I hope you will soon conclude to let me have at least the whole of my command here.
6 R R-VOL XXV, PT II