War of the Rebellion: Serial 040 Page 0512 Chapter XXXVII. N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.

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covering the ground between my right and left with squads. All had orders to search the roads and houses, and gain all information possible concerning guerrillas, &c. We chased and fired upon several suspicious persons, but do not know what injury was done. Between White Ridge and Bristersburg we made prisoner of a man by the name of Walters, whom I send to you [with] $6,900; $3,300 in bonds and $3,600 in bills. The character of Walters is anything but good, even in the estimation of his neighbors, the prevailing opinion being that he is a hard case. He has twice escaped after being taken at different times by our forces. He told me that he has only been two or three days home from Richmond, where he had been confined in prison. His wife said that he had been at home ten days, and that he had crossed the lines to see his father, who lived there. He says he went over to see about two negroes he had hired out in the Confederacy. Two other men were arrested, but after examination and detaining them all night, turned them loose. I found there had been fire or six Sutlers' wagons robbed some time ago, in which the whole neighborhood of Bristersburg seems to be more or less implicated. We found no goods, however, or anything to condemn any one in particular.

I left Bristersburg May 20, 1863, at 8 a. m., passing by Patterson's Store and Stafford Court-House, and arrived at camp at 6 p. m.

I send by the orderly the prisoners and the money and bonds.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. S. McCLURE,

Major Third Indiana Cavalry, Commanding.

OFFICE PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL, May 21, 1863.

Brigadier-General WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General, &c.:

GENERAL: In reply to the inclosed, I would respectfully state that I have no reason to doubt the truth of the charges against purveyors and caterers. A privilege,a t First Accorded to officers for the purpose of enabling them to obtain articles of necessity to them, and not embraced in the Sutler's list, or where it was impossible for sutlers to furnish them,, has become an evil of enormous magnitude, flooding the army with intoxicating drinks, and loading down steamboats and railroad trains with articles entirely unnecessary, in the way of table delicacies, &c.

The facilities afforded to these purveyors for obtaining transportation by the use of officers' names enables them to supply not only the officers of their respective commands, but to sell to the soldiers. The caterers are frequently detected in these nefarious transactions, and sent beyond the lines, but the facilities for rascality in their line are so numerous that it is almost impossible to prevent the abuse of these purveyors' pursuits.

I regret to say that the root of the evil is with the officers who give orders for unreasonable purchases, and the commanders who indorse them. Frequently the allowance of liquors on these orders for one officer per day has been from one to three bottles of whisky, and as high as a gallon and two gallons of fermented beverages additional. The vast numbers of purveyors, caterers, messengers, clerks, employes, &c., hanging upon this army are a curse to it; and refugees from taxation and conscription at home are fattening upon the plunder obtained here.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. R. PATRICK,

Provost-Marshall General.

[Inclosure.]

A complaint of Crosby and other sutlers in relation to the way they are treated. Cannot supply their regiments while purveyors and