War of the Rebellion: Serial 049 Page 0040 OPERATIONS IN N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLI.

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orders. The division will march as soon as possible to Rappahannock Station, where railroad transportation will be provided for it. No land transportation or supplies will accompany the division. Please acknowledge this dispatch, and report as soon as you can the number of officers and men for whom transportation will be required.

S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

OFFICE PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL.

August 13, 1863.

Colonel G. H. SHARPE,

Deputy Provost-Marshal-General, &c.:

COLONEL: At your suggestion, I have the honor to report in brief the manner in which goods have been brought to the Army of the Potomac by sutlers and traders during the time General Patrick has been acting as provost-marshal-general.

By referring to the circular issued November 7, 1862, and marked A, it will be seen that before could be brought to the army an invoice must be presented to this office for approval, or the goods attempted to be brought to the army would be liable to confiscation. Such instances, I may here add, were not a few. That system continued in force from the issuing of the circular, November 7, 1862, at which time goods were brought to the army in wagons, until the army went into winter quarters, on the Rappahannock, when the following system went into effect:

A sutler wishing to bring goods to the army made up his invoice in conformity to the "Wilson bill," and for one month's supply. That invoice was approved by the commandant of his regiment and brigade, and latterly by command of the provost-marshal-general. Three sutlers, with their papers thus approved, could go to Washington, and there of the Quartermaster-General obtain permission to clear a vessel for Belle Plain or Aquia Creek. At these points were officers, acting under orders of the provost-marshal-general, who examined the goods and manifest accompanying the vessels. If found to agree, and no contraband goods discovered, the sutlers were permitted to land their goods.

The confiscations while the army lay at that point were not a few. Parties attempting to smuggle liquors and other contraband goods into the army not only lost their goods but were sent from the army not to return. The system last mentioned continued in effect until the army moved from the Rappahannock in June last, at which time sutlers were notified to go to the rear with their goods and teams, as they were not to be permitted to follow the army when on the move. Now that the army is stationary, and sutlers, if they come to it, will be obliged to have their goods in wagons, some plan should be hit upon preventing contraband goods from coming to the army.

I have carefully read the plan proposed by Colonel Hardie, assistant adjutant-general to Major-General Meade, and which, in the main, is the same as that followed by the army, in accordance with the circular marked A, and heretofore referred to. In those times, if I remember rightly, General Martindale gave the sutlers permission to come to the army from Washington, instead of the Quartermaster-General as proposed, and upon papers approved from this