The immediate results of these measures were most satisfactory, but produced a jealousy and alarm among certain bands of guerrillas that have, since the war, occupied the swamps of Carotic and Camden Counties. This feeling increased to that extent that they were determined to stop the above trade and intercourse with Norfolk, for which purpose a concerted movement was made on the 7th September, and all of the bridges within the above four counties were destroyed. Some of the bridges were rebuilt and again destroyed, and I resorted to the means indicated in Special Orders, marked D, hereunto attached, and required that the bridges should be kept in repair by the most prominent secessionists in the immediate vicinity, and this seems to have had the desired effect.
My nest purpose was to drive all of the guerrilla band beyond the line. these men are not uniformed, and it is impossible to distinguish them from the farmers of the country. They are familiar with the country, and conceal themselves in the thickets and most unapproachable places. My men were invariably taken at a great disadvantage, and invariably the first knowledge they had of approaching danger was a volley when least expected, and which was followed by a scattering of those who thus frequently delivered a very destructive fire. To meet these surprises in the future, I have ordered that when approaching these dangerous places where an attack may be expected, some half dozen of the most influential, restless secessionists of the vicinity shall be forced to act as guides, and be placed with the advance. From the protestations made by them, I anticipate almost certain favorable result. Already I have cleared Princess Anne and Norfolk Counties, and I can safely promise that before ten days, under the orders given to Colonel [William] Lewis, and the dispositions made, there will be an end of this disturbance.
I have arrested a large number of persons who have been feeding, and, I believe, encouraging these outlaws, and I have ordered the trial of two of two of the guerrillas, taken from a number of them who murdered some of my unarmed men that had gone a short distance from South Mills in search of milk.
The most unsatisfactory and complicated subject that will claim your attention will be the endeavor to harmonize the existence, at the same time, of civil and martial law. The former is attempted to be enforced by a mayor and few justices of the peace in the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth, and extraordinary restrictions are unlawfully enforced by them under the laws of the restored government of Virginia, which, if carried out, must inevitably result in the utter destitution of a very large portion of the population of these cities. Physicians are not allowed to practice unless they will take the oath of allegiance to the United States and the restored government of Virginia, the immediate result of which is that the poor suffer and die unattended, and sickness prevails to an alarming extent. No debts can be collected unless the applicant will first take the above oaths, and a landlord can neither collect his rents nor get possession of his property; and to such an extent is this carried, that the mayor of Norfolk refused to eject a band of negroes from the residence of a gentleman, forcibly taken from him by them.
In a word, these people are but prisoners of war, and as such are entitled to certain rights which cannot be violated. They should be allowed to feed themselves or the Government must feed them. Their property can only be taken by legal means. The Constitution expressly provides the only manner of testing disloyalty, and the act