the London Bridge within ten days, or they will be imprisoned, and the bridge will be rebuilt from sales of their personal property.
By command of Brigadier-general Naglee, commanding:
[George H. Johnston,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA, Norfolk, Va., September 17, 1863.
Honorable Daniel Collins.
Mayor, &c., of the City of Portsmouth:
Dear Sir: The number of destitute persons in your city amounts to over 1, 200, which number is rapidly increasing.
I would respectfully request you to inform me of the course the council of the city of Portsmouth intend to adopt to aid in the support of the poor.
Very respectfully, &c.,
Henry M. Naglee,
MAYOR'S OFFICE, Portsmouth, Va., September 22, 1863.
Brigadier General Henry M. Naglee:
SIR: Your communication of the 17th instant in regard to providing for the poor is at hand. In reply, I would state that I have been authorized by the council of this city to state that the means adopted by the council to provide for indigent families in this city were interfered with by the military authorities, and consequently at present the civil authorities are unable to provide for such persons. Provision has been made by the council by which we can in a short time provide for all indigent families who are legitimately entitled to relief.
In connection with this subject, I would state that there are persons in this city who are drawing rations from the Government who would not receive any aid from this city government. I am satisfied it is almost impossible for you, ar any of your officers, to detect unworthy persons, without a very close scrutiny, and, of the 1, 200 persons drawing rations, they are not 500 of those persons to whom we would issue rations.
There are a number of persons who are receiving aid that reside outside of this city. Others are persons who moved into this city when the Federal lines were contracted. There are others who managed to make a living until they were prevented from going out of the city.
You are aware of one fact, also, which compels many to apply for relief, that is your "order in reference to the currency. " Many persons here who have Southern State money cannot pass it since your order was issued. Such persons are drawing rations, when, if their money was allowed to pass, they say they would not ask for relief.
In conclusion, I would state that we are about to collect taxes, and many persons here have refused to pay taxes, thinking you will interpose your authority to prevent us from collecting. We are will-