War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0214 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter XLVIII.

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heard. Confident that the illegal and unjust act of General Ransom does not meet the approbation of the Department, I most earnestly request that proper steps be forthwith taken to repair the injury.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. M. BARTON,

Brigadier-General.

[First indorsement.]

MAY 16, 1864.

Respectfully submitted to the President with a report of the operations of the brigade and a copy of the request of the regimental commanders of Barton's brigade for his restoration to his command, the original request no having yet been received here. This seems to be a case similar to that of Colonel Harney, under General Scott in Mexico, and is met by General Orders, Numbers 141, of 1863, from this office, prohibiting such practice of relieving officers from their commands.

S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General.

[Second indorsement.]

ADJUTANT-GENERAL:

Please refer to the late law in relation to officers in the field deemed unfit for command, and call on General Bragg for information.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

[Third indorsement.]

MAY 20, 1864.

Respectfully referred to General Bragg for the information called for by the President.

The recent law referred to by the President is the act of February 17, 1864, published in General Orders, Numbers 22, or present series.

S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General.

[Inclosure Numbers 1.]

RICHMOND, May 12, 1864.

GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part borne by my brigade in the affair of Tuesday last, the 10th instant:

At daybreak, in obedience to orders received from General Ransom the evening previous, I moved with one regiment (White's, Fourteenth Virginia), deployed as skirmishers, and connecting with one of General Gracie's, under his immediate command, and also deployed as skirmishers, to sweep the country south of the lines at Drewry's Bluff and ascertain the position and strength of the enemy. I was forced to make a detour to the right to avoid an impassable swamp in my front, and returning resumed connection with General Gracie. After proceeding some 2 miles, I was overtaken by a dispatch from General Ransom directing me to have my brigade abut a mile in rear. General Gracie received a similar order. This