CIRCULAR.] HDQRS. ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
May 23, 1864.
It has been reported that in many instances of late wanton destruction of private property has been committed where wagons are camped. This is in direct violation of existing orders; but as there has been difficulty in tracing the blame to those who are culpable, it is ordered that in future whenever rails or crops are destroyed, or any such wanton damage is committed in the immediate vicinity of a wagon camp, the officer in charge of the train will be held responsible, whether the injury is inflicted by persons connected with the wagons, or by cooking details, or stragglers, whilst the train occupied the locality in question.
By command of General Lee:
W. H. TAYLOR,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
May 23, 1864-11.30 p. m.
The general commanding directs that you have the wagons of your corps packed and everything in readiness by daybreak to-morrow to move in any direction.
W. H. TAYLOR,
HANOVER COURT-HOUSE, May 23, 1864-7.30 p. m.
Lieutenant Colonel W. H. TAYLOR,
COLONEL: There is a ford 2 miles above the one where the stage road crosses, and another 2 miles below. I have all these picketed, and my troops in best position the country allows. I have no cavalry. No enemy has appeared in my front. I inclose a note* from citizens, just received.
JOHN C. BRECKINRIDGE,
CHESTER, May 23, 1864.
All quiet last night and this morning. We are increasing strength of our lines and batteries. Signal corps scouts from Old Point report very large number of wounded at Fort Monroe, also twelve large guns sent on 19th instant to Butler, and since 12th instant he has been re-enforced by 5,000 men. If this be true, he may retake the offensive soon. Then I shall require assistance.
G. T. BEAUREGARD.