without giving me an opportunity of explining anything that may be represented as objectionable in my course.
I believe I know something of the interests and requirements of the department, and the verious conflicting and disturbing elements in it, and I respectfully suggest that if is in contemplation to relieve me from the command of it, the interest of the service may be promoted by deferring the selection of my successor until I have communicated further with you on the subject. I am now on a tour of inspection, will go on to Pocahontas County day after to-morrow, and when I have completed the inspection, I will, if I can with propriety do so, go to Richmond and have a personal interview with you. if you can give it me.
With great respect, sir, your obedient servant,
Major-general, Commanding Dept. of Western Virginia.
AUGUST 18, 1863.
Read. Lay aside for future answer on his return from his trip of inspection.
J. A. S. [SEDDON],
August 13, 1863.
Major General WILLIAM SMITH:
GENERAL: In forwarding the inclosed commission as major-general, Provisional Army, C. S., the Secretery of War directs me to say that you will be assigned at once to the special duty of visiting the people of Virginia and the adjutant States.
It is desired that you will on this mission employ every effort to reanimate our people, inspire them with hope and renewed zeal for the cause, and especially induce those liable to service to come forward to their places promptly, and without awaiting the regularprocess of conscription.
In many parts of the country are to be found large numbers of men absent beyond, or without leave. Many of these are thus absent without criminal intent, and by the mere inadvertence of not appreciating the importance of one individual to the service. It is belived that a stirring appeal to them, but especially to the influence of patriotic woman of the country, will be sufficient to cause the return of these laggards to the ranks.
In some localities, however, the stragglers and deserters have manifested a disposition to resist the efforst toward their return to duty. In such cases it will devolve upon you to devise means for enforcing their obedience, and to this end you are authorized to employ and direct the services of any local companies already existing, or which may be formed, and invoke and encourage the co-operation of the militia officers and local authorities.
In view of impending raids by the enemy, it is importation that in every neighborhood commpanies be formed for local defense and special service, under the act approved August 21, 1861, of non-conscripts to be mustered into Confederate service, armed and equipped. It is desirable that such companies should, in the terms prescribed