have these men, though enlisted for the war in a Virginia organization, been under officers from their own State, and this will continue to be the case, as the officer who succeeds Major Breathed in the command of this battery is also a native of Maryland.
But the most weighty reason why this transfer should not be consummated is that at the very commencement of a momentous campaign a battery which has won for itself a name second to none in this army, whose services cannot be dispensed with without great injury to the cause, will be disorganized and rendered almost entirely useless, and this great injury to the battalion of horse artillery will be without any corresponding gain to our service in any other direction, for these men will probably remain in camp of instruction for a considerable portion of the coming campaign, and in lieu of the distinguished service they might render in the field, will consume their time in the monotonous duties of the camp. I visited this battery yesterday, and find that many of the men are changing their opinions, and, desiring to remain in that company, are requesting that the order for their transfer be revoked. I inclose two of those applications. If this transfer is still insisted upon, I would earnestly request that it may be made gradually as dismounted cavalry are transferred to the company.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. E. B. STUART,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
June 9, 1864.
It is recommended that the order be suspended, if not unconditionally at least for the present. In other similar cases the Department has declined to order these wholesale transfers. In this case it would really amount to a disbandment of the company. This is an inopportune time for such changes.
For General R. E. Lee:
W. H. TAYLOR,
MILFORD, May 4, 1864.
The First North Carolina, now on picket, had better picket Catharpin road to Spotsylvania, connecting there with Lee. I have nothing here.
NEAR FRONT ROYAL, May 4, 1864.
Major General J. E. B. STUART:
GENERAL: I have just met a gentleman on furlough (from Bradley Johnson's command) who left Annapolis on April 15. He reports 40,000 men in Burnside's command at that place, including a