of Congress of July 29, 1862, places the jurisdiction and condemnation of property with the district court of the United States.
I would call attention to my letter to Mayor Collins, of the city of Portsmouth, dated September 17, 1863,, marked E. in which I requested to be informed what the council of that city intended to do for the support of their poor. On the 22d, I received his reply marked F, and in which you will, no doubt, note with surprise his assertion, that "of the 1, 200 persons drawing rations, there are not 500 of them entitled to the same. " Your surprise will, however, be directed toward Mayor Collins, when, by the perusal of the communication of Captain Hill (marked G), commissary of subsistence, one of board of three commissioners with whom I left this subject, you will learn that the mayor in his own handwriting, and by his authorized agents, recommended 1, 461 persons for support; and lest, even with the precautions taken, any improper persons should receive rations, Mayor Collins was invited to an examination of the list, and to note any that he considered not entitled to relief.
The interference made by the military authority with the acts of the council, referred to by Mayor Collins, was disposed of by my communications to you, which were forwarded to the President in August.
I am most happy to know that the stringent reforms introduced by my Special Orders of August 1, 1863, marked H, and those of General Orders, No. 4 dated September 15, 1863, marked I, have most effectually stopped the contraband trade and underground mail; and in this connection, I am most happy to commend the activity and energy with which officers and men have, one and all, assisted in establishing a system which promises to be most thorough and complete. Within the past two weeks, large seizures have been made of goods attempted to be smuggled through at Fort Monroe, and within the past few days personal property has been seized of the same and of other descriptions that had been buried, of value exceeding $70, 000.
I have found some embarrassment for the want of proper written orders from your headquarters and especially in regard to the troops sent from North Carolina into Currituck and Camden Counties, who, although within the limits General Foster verbally assigned to me, have never reported to me, nor have a had any advice whatever of their coming.
Another difficulty arose from the same cause in the Albemarle Sound, where the army gunboat General Jesup, placed under my command by the verbal order of General Foster, to watch and guard that Sound and the Pasquotank River, was summarily ordered away by General Peck. (See copy oh this order attached, marked J.)
Again, on the 13th August, 1863, Asst. Adjt. General S. Hoffman issued an order (see paper marked K), by which Captain Lee and his crew were ordered to report to their regiment. This was not discovered to me until September 3, when I informed you of the absolute necessity of the crew remaining on the gunboats; and again, on the 7th September, requested that the order, so far as it related to them, should be countermanded. This being refused, I requested you to instruct me how this service was to be performed, and was answered "by the quartermaster's department. " There being no troops at the disposal of the quartermaster, the gunboats required to watch the smuggling that is attempted in the direction of Craney