BRISTOL, TENN., April 29, 1864.
Colonel GEO W. BRENT, A. A. G., Hdqrs. Armies of the C. S.:
COLONEL: From the investigation I have been able to make, I have to report that the complaints of the citizens of Sullivan County, Tenn., contained in the memorial referred to me, are well founded. I am satisfied that the limitations of the impressment law have not been uniformly observed. Supplies needed for the support of the household have been taken; disputed questions have not been referred tot he board of arbitrators, required by law. Agricultural operations have been left, signed by forage-masters, commissary sergeants, officers of the line, and sometimes without any indication of the command for which the supplies were taken. In addition of the command for which the supplies were taken. In addition to these abuses, robberies by soldiers in small parties have been frequent. In October last, it is stated, a regiment of cavalry (Peter's Twenty-first Virginia) was mounted in East Tennessee by the indiscriminate license granted by General Williams to seize horses wherever they could be found. No receipts were given, no money paid, and no form of law observed. General A. E. Jackson assured me that he had himself taken from men of this regiment more than 100 horses thus seized, which he recognized as belonging to perfectly loyal Southern men. General William E. Jones, in March, directed his purveying officers to leave there bushels of corn or two and a half of wheat for each member of a family, but his quarmaster informed me that he was satisfied this limitation had not been respected. I have received assurances from General William E. Jones, in March, directed his purveying officers to leave three bushels of corn or two and a half of wheat for each member of a family, but his quartermaster informed me that he was satisfied this limitation had not been respected. I have received assurances from General A. E. Jackson, form the chief quartermaster and chief commissary of the department, form the quarmaster and chief commissary of the department, from the quartmaster of Jones' brigade, and form numerous citizens that the country contains a large number of informal receipts of the kind above described. A good many of these I have myself seen. Mr. Wyndham Robertson declare to me that he knew of were disregarded. The accompanying documents, marked A and B, will illustrate the various kinds of depredations to which the people something may be done toward paying the debts represented by informal vouchers. I would suggest that as full powers as the law will allow be conferred upon Major Glover, chief quartermaster for the liquidation of claims of this character in his department in this quarter, and that similar powers be conferred upon Captain Shelby, chief commissary at General Buckner's headquarters.
It would seem that cavalry officers might devise some plan of foraging their detachments without subjecting the citizens to the enormous Hardship of collecting his money upon irregular vouchers. Their quartermasters might at least be required to follow and take up immediately all such paper. At present the quartermaster of this department is making no impressments. The commissary has impressing agents out, who are provided with money or blank forms receipted and with copies of the impressment law and the orders thereon, which they are instructed strictly to respect.
I have the honor to be, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant Colonel, Asst. Adjt. General, on Inspector Duty.