War of the Rebellion: Serial 049 Page 0843 Chapter XLI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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ORDNANCE OFFICE,

Dublin Depot, November 21, 1863.

Lieutenant Colonel W. LE ROY BROWN,

Commanding, Arsenal:

COLONEL: In compliance with circular of March 31 and July 8, 1863, from Ordnance Bureau, I have the honor to report the number of troops in this department, as follows:

Infantry....................................... 8,635

Artillery...................................... 908

Cavalry........................................ 6,467

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Total.......................................... 16,010

This is a statement of enlisted men alone.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

T. M. BOWYER,

Major, Chief Ord. Officer, Dept. W. Va. and East Tenn.

BUREAU OF SUBSISTENCE, C. S. A.,

Richmond, November 22, 1863.

General R. E. LEE, Commanding:

GENERAL: Your letter of the 19th instant to the Secretary of War has by him been placed in my hands. Your general views that the application of the impressment laws should be equal, and proportionate to the amount of each man's production and necessities, should be gentle and regular, and not dependent on the caprice or will of the impressing agent, must commend themselves to the mind of every just and reasonable man. Nothing to the contrary was implied in my late communication to you.

You have not appreciated my presentation of the existing state of things, because you have connected its consideration with the principle of Orders Nos. 31 [March 19, 1863] and 144 [November 6, 1863], so far as pertaining to these things, which imply that there is enough in the country for fully supply both for the people and army.

As that basis does not exist, not inferential reasoning from these orders are of moment.

There are two classes of impressment, one to meet exigencies of armies in the field, of such characer as to make impressments absolutely necessary for its subsistence; second, when the Secretary of War shall be of opinion, &c. See section 4 of General Orders, Numbers 37 [April 6, 1863].

The first section overrides all exemptions, and secures the property. The second class is so crippled as to leave the army only the surplus, after everbyody has secured one year's supply. This process has been elaborated in Major Noland's letter, and has frequently been set forth to the War Department. There being no surplus, but actual deficiency, and there being no penalty attached to a refusal to hold impressed property, or against selling to another for higher prices, impressments under section Numbers 4 can accomplish but little. I consider that the eixgency contemplated in section Numbers 1 is really in every army on this side of the Mississippi.

Your proposition that the Secretary of War should issue appropriate directions to the generals commanding is beyond his power, and he has no resource in case of non-acquiescence on the part of the people. Section 1 gives legality to the physical power in the