for the prompt assembling of the men in the event that the President shall deem it necessary to call these forces into service.
(Colonel Withers, for orders as above. Copies for Bureau of Conscription, General Lee, and General Imboden.
HEADQUARTERS, March 9, 1864.
GENERAL: The condition of Butler's brigade is such that unless it can have time to recruit before the spring campaign it will then be totally unfit for service. I was in hopes from what you told me that this brigade would be relieved on the 1st of March, but it is still on duty,much broken down by its late marches. The almost total want of long forage is the main cause of its present condition. Very little forage was to be had in that country, and but one shipment of hay has been made to it by railroad. This seems the more strange as I have been informed that long forage has been regularly shipped to the cavalry, which is on the left. It is proposed to keep one brigade near Richmond to protect the city,and I suggest that you send Butler's. In a very few days, with rest and forage, it would be in fighting condition, and it would improve constantly whilst on light duty. The dismounted men of the command could do good service in the works, and if an enemy is to be pursued horses could readily be obtained in the city for temporary use. As soon as the condition of the brigade is good it can be brought to the field and another can take its place. By drawing all its pickets it could now mount 500 men, and quite a large number of recruits and fresh horses are coming on to it. The regiments of General Lee which were disbanded are coming in very full, and they could easily relive this brigade.
I beg that you will take prompt action in this matter, and I am, very respectfully, yours,
GOOCHLAND COURT-HOUSE, March 10, 1864.
JAMES A. SEDDON:
DEAR SIR: Pardon the liberty I take in presuming to intrude on your valuable time some suggestions to which,in the multiplicity of business in which you are engaged, you possibly may not have turned your attention, relating to the late Yankee raid in this county. It seems to me the felonies committed by them in this county, in burning houses on the various farms, stealing plate from Captain Moorow's dwelling, burning Dover Mills and other mills, stealing negroes, and then hanging a negro they had stolen, are all offenses cognizable by the judicial tribunals of the State of Virginia, for which they ought to be tried in this county. Witnesses can easily be procured to establish the arson, robbery, and murder on the officers and men captured in King and Queen, as accessories