trying circumstances. Moreover, their officers would strongly object to such duty being assigned them. It is only in the field and on the march that such duties fall to them in the judgment of this bureau.
ALFRED L. RIVES,
Lieutenant-Colonel, and Acting Chief of Bureau.
Troops should hold all useful service honorable, but further leave for drill and organization is desirable.
J. A. S. [SEDDON.]
OFFICE COMMISSARY-GENERAL OF SUBSISTENCE,
Richmond, Va., December 12, 1863.
Respectfully returned to Secretary of War, with the renewal of the request that Colonel Stevens be directed to use a portion of the negro force under his control for the purpose of repairing the road in question. The importance of the work is daily enhanced as the season advances.
It is expected that large supplies of subsistence and quartermaster's supplies will have to be hauled over that road, and serious inconvenience will be felt not only by the army, but by the people of this city, if the work is not done promptly.
L. B. NORTHROP,
Commissary-General of Subsistence.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
December 8, 1863.
Brigadier General J. D. IMBODEN, Commanding Valley District:
GENERAL: I have received a petition addressed to the Secretary of War and signed by the Honorable Moses Walton, Jacob Olt, Laurence Keller, and numerous other citizens of the lower valley, setting forth their exposed condition, and the losses sustained by invasions of the enemy, &c., and suggesting that Major Myers, with the Seventh Virginia Cavalry, be ordered to that region, or, if that could not be done, that Major Myers be assigned to the command of the battalions under Majors White and Gilmor, for the protection of the lower valley. I know the advantages of having a larger force in the valley, and wish the Seventh Virginia Cavalry could be spared for that purpose, but at this time it is impossible; nor can I now detach any regiment from this army.
My object is to know whether you can make any arrangements to give greater protection to the inhabitants down the valley, and have a force near Strasburg, so as at least to close the valley above that point against the incursions of the enemy, and what officer of your command had better be charged with this special duty. If you could so dispose your command as to guard the approaches from the lower valley, as well as those from the west, and be ready to re-enforce either party, or unite your whole force on either, as occasion may require, you might be able so to punish invading parties of the enemy as to deter them from making the attempt.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
55 R R--VOL XXIX, PT II