brought over from the Northern Neck by the cavalry pickets. I have also heard rumors of like confiscations by the cavalry on the other wing of the enemy. I wish the people who are within the lines of the enemy, or subject to their marauding expeditions, to be encouraged in every possible way to bring over the products of their farms for the benefit of the army and the citizens on this side. As to the conveyance of goods from Maryland or Accomac, as it is to our benefit, and furnishes necessary articles to soldiers and citizens, and enables loyal citizens who have lost almost everything to subsist their families, it is a matter for the revenue officers to judge and act upon.
So far as the army is concerned, we are only to see that no improper communication passes the lines, and that the persons who go to and from are good, true, and loyal citizens of the Confederacy.
Any goods seized must be strictly rendered by the commanding officers of the outposts to the proper revenue officers of the Government. In no case are confiscations of any goods to be made by any portion of the army for their own benefit. If any confiscations of this sort have taken place (which I hope is not the case), they are wrong and illegal.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
DUBLIN DEPOT, February 7, 1863.
Colonel GEORGE S. PATTON,
Commanding Second Brigade:
COLONEL: The general commanding directs me to say that Lieutenant [Robert W.] Sanders, Fifty-first Virginia Regiment, reports a company of Federal troops at Richmond's Ferry, and that there are no other Federal troops nearer than Fayetteville. The company at Richmond's Ferry is not protected by defensive works of any kind, and Lieutenant Sanders thinks that they may be captured easily. You will inform yourself of the facts, and, if you are satisfied that you can capture the company without great sacrifices, do so. Lieutenant Sanders will hand you this note, and can guide any party you may send. The general directs me to say you can use your own option in fixing your headquarters at any point you may select.
I am, colonel, your obedient servant,
W. B. MYERS,
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., February 10, 1863.
General R. E. LEE,
GENERAL: The applications for details sent you through the Department have been rarely allowed, but, on the contrary, have been generally returned disapproved. The reason of this is, probably, that the applications being sent down through the regular military channels to the captains of the particular companies for their report, they, naturally confining their attention mainly to the interests of their special commands, are reluctant to part with their men, and disapprove the applications. Thus disapproved in their upward course, the natural sympathy of the
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