in ther muster-rolls, hold themselves ready for service anywhere in the State. But while such limits are preferred, it is not probable that in any instance a company of this kind would be called upon to go beyond its own locality; and companies for more restriced service will be accepted.
It is expected that an earnest presentation of the subject to the people will induce them to perfect such organizations promply.
By personal conference with the leading men of each section, and your well-directed appeal to the masses, we may confidently expect that you will succeed in diffusing a new spirit, and imparting to our cause a more certain, rapid, and enduring progress.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Adjutant and Inspector General.
August 13, 1863.
Colonel W. H. STEVENS,
Corps of Engineers:
COLONEL: The honorable Secretary of War has considered your letter of the 7th instant, representing that labor is imperatively needed at this time for the construction of fortification in Virginia, and has indoresed as follows:
This is favorable a season as be found for the withdrawal, temporarily, of agricultural labor. Calls may be made for slave labor till the 5th of October, and from the grain-growing districts especially.
J. A. S. [SEDDON,]
In conversation with me the Secretary expressed the opinion that labor could be better spared from the grain-growing district than from the tobacoo fields at this time. On this point it will be difficult to discriminate, but you will please to arrange your call, or rather the date of the call, as equitably as possible, regard being had in all cases to the number of slaves in each county, the extent of former service, and burdens resulting from deredations of the enemy. You will please to prepare your call without delay, and forward it to this Bureau, when the President will be requested to make application to the Governor of Virginia for the force you may name.
J. F. GILMER,
Colonel of Engineers, and Chief of Bureau.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA,
Lewisburg, Va., August 14, 1863.
General R. E. LEE:
I have heard nothing from Imboden of the movements of the enemy, nor do I know anything of the strength of his force. I will not move my two regiments until I hear further from him or you.
Colonel W. L. Jackson reports all quiet in his front, and no indication of a movement by the enemy.