officer. I have accordingly transferred the business in question to Major Gibbes, of South Carolina, who has lately been ordered to report to me as an officer of artillery. He will perform it faithfully. In fact, as you may well understand, I prefer all of this business to transacted by officers not belonging to my military family. I have so constantly and persistently opposed the blockade running (government business excepted) as to make it a matter of principle that none of us should be at all connected with it, or even exposed to the imputation of so being.
If I had any embarrassment in the case of Colonel Duncan, who volunteered, as an old friend, to serve me as an aide, he has properly and gracefully relieved me of it. I communicated to him only the fact that the Department preferred that the business in question should be transacted by an officer bearing a commission. I was aware imperfectly that Colonel Duncan had some official dispute with one of the Departments of the Government, but presumed it to be entirely in the nature of a civil or legal transaction. I am sure he is actuated by patriotic motives in his desire to serve his country. I am not aware of his private business circumstances, but I think it is due to him to express the conviction I have that he has never allowed it to interfere with his public duties in his connection with me.
W. H. C. WHITING,
HDQRS. ARTILLERY CORPS, A. N. VA., No.-. September 13, 1863.
The officers commanding Cabell's and Henry's artillery battalions will march them by reasonable stages, so as not to worry their horses, to the neighborhood of Gordonsville; there select satisfactory camping ground, and report without delay to these headquarters. On the march, which had best be by way of Louisa Court-House, they will be careful to forage their animals as well as practicable, and if they have to resort to the purchase of standing corn, they will see that it is used with proper caution and with such rations of drier food as can be procured.
W. N. PENDLETON,
Brigadier General, and Chief of Arty., Army of Northern Va.
September 13, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: It is reported that a Federal force of mounted men and infantry, 4,000, advancing through Tazewell County on the road and bridge. Sixteen of the advance were captured last night. No troops, except two or three companies of home guard, here. Wires down between Wytheville and Abingdon. These facts are deemed correct. Can any assistance be furnished? The Otey Battery is here.
LANDON C. HAYNES,
C. S. Senator.