War of the Rebellion: Serial 049 Page 0032 OPERATIONS IN N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLI.

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rected, and the contract with the present agent annulled. With regard to teh complaint, or rather objection, of the proprietor of the Daily Chronicle, I have advised him that the fact that the agent is compelled by the terms of his contract to supply such papers as are called for will be made public in orders, and a plan arranged by and the agent will be compelled to procure and delivere a number equal to the demand thus indicated. By adopting this plan, I do not see how any monopoly can be injuriously established, and that each journal will be fairly and justly represented, its circulation being thus dependent on the will of the army.

So far, therefore, as my judgment is concerned, I should not be disposed to alter the present system, believing that the complaints made against it are based more on individual interests than on teh general interests of the army.

As to who shall be the agent, I have no individual preference, and will most promptly discharge the present incumbent so soon as any reliable evidence is presented either that he is unworthy of employment from notoriously bad character, or that he fails to execute his contract in the most impartial manner and with the single object of giving satisfaction to the soldier.

At the same time, I shall be greatly relieved if you shall think proper to assume control of this subject, and you may rest assured whenever your wishes are distinctly indicated, they will be most promptly and cheerfully complied with. And if you should deem it of importance to designate another agent, the contract with the present incumbent will be at once revoked, and your nominee installed.

I inclose herewith a report* from the provost-marshal-general, showing the conditions upon which the present agent distributes papers, and the amount paid by him to the hospital fund.

Very respectfully, &c.,


Major-General, Commanding.


August 11, [1863]- 4 p. m.

(Received 5 p. m.)

Major-General HUMPHREYS,

Chief of Staff:

GENERAL: General Merritt reports that a party sent out by Colonel Devin had gone as far as the Rapidan. The enemy, about 100 strong, retreated before the advance of the party, but came back to his old position on the return of the party. The enemy's force extends as far as east of Stevensburg, and his scouts and pickets move well down on the neck between the Rapidan and the Rappahannock. In front of Rappahannock Bridge everything remains the same.

Very respectfully,,


Major-General, Commanding.


*See p. 26.