of interest of the enemy`s movements. Endeavor to ascertain if the people in Northwestern Virginia are responding to Lincoln`s call for 10, 000 men from that part of the State.
Very respectfully and truly, &c.,
P. S. -The three companies of [A. C.] Dunn`s battalion, which started from Salem on the 15th instant, have joined you before this. Two other companies of the same battalion were to have started yesterday from Salem to join you.
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., June 24, 1863.
Major C. R. COLLINS,
Commanding Fifteenth Virginia Cavalry:
MAJOR: Some days since, as soon as the evacuation of Stafford County by the enemy was known, I gave instructions that officers of the Engineer Corps should at once proceed there, and endeavor to collect and forward within our lines iron, railroad machinery, lead, and all other articles left by the enemy which would be valuable to our service. They were likewise to endeavor to remove the rails from the track of the road to Aquia Creek, if practicable. These objects were important, and I approved orders that requested the commandant at Fredericksburg, or in its vicinity, to render such aid and facilities as could be afforded to their attainment.
To my surprise, I learn, on the return of one of these officers, that these orders met with no attention or compliance, and that not even the use of a horse, to examine the ground, to point out the valuables left, and to forbid their removal and appropriation by the inhabitants of the country, could be obtained from you. If you were in command, I must require explanation and justification of such disregard of the wishes of the Department; and if you still remain in such command, I must require, while in the vicinity, that you exert yourself diligently to accomplish the collection and removal, under the direction of the engineers, of all the valuable stores and articles left by the enemy, as also, if practicable, the removal of the iron on the track of the road.
Yours, with respect,
J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
OPPOSITE WILLIAMSPORT, June 25, 1863.
His Excellency President DAVIS,
Mr. PRESIDENT: I have received to-day your letter of the 19th instant, and am much gratified by your views in relation to the peace party at the North. It is plain to my understanding that everything that will tend to repress the war feeling in the Federal States will inure to our benefit. I do not know that we can do anything to pro-