War of the Rebellion: Serial 069 Page 0856 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter XLVIII.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, ADJT. AND INSPT. GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 125.

Richmond, May 30, 1864.

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VI. Captain W. W. Fraser, of Company A, First Regiment Virginia Artillery, will report to Brigadier General James L. Kemper, commanding reserve forces of Virginia, for assignment to duty.

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XVIII. Major I. M. Partridge, commissary of subsistence, Provisional Army, C. S., having been assigned to the duty of perfecting the records of the Mississippi troops serving in the Army of Northern Virginia, under an act of Congress approved February 16, 1864, commanding officers of Mississippi troops are requested to afford him such facilities in the discharge of his duties as may not conflict with the interests of the service. The quartermaster's department will furnish the necessary transportation, and he will be allowed to purchase the same rations from the subsistence department as are sold to colonels in the field.

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By command of the Secretary of War:

JNO. WITHERS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HDQRS. DEPT. OF N. CAROLINA AND SOUTHERN VA.,

Hancock's House, May 30, 1864.

General S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to inform you that pursuant to the wishes of the War Department I relieved on yesterday Brigadier General R. E. Colston from duty in this department, and assigned Colonel William Butler, Provisional Army, C. S., to the command of the First District - extending from the line of Swift Creek to the Roanoke River. But as Colonel Butler is ranked by other colonels in the district, and as Brigadier-General Dearing is often serving in the same district, I hope an officer of more rank may be at once ordered to report to me. An officer of more rank than that of a colonel would necessarily inspire more confidence in the people and in the troops, particularly the local troops. Colonel Butler is ranked by Colonel Benbow, of the Twenty-third South Carolina Volunteers. This regiment has been necessarily detached to guard Petersburg, owing to the few troops there at my command, and it is deemed advisable at this time to remove his regiment and replace it by one, the commanding officer of which would be inferior in rank to Colonel Butler.

Colonel Butler is also ranked by the colonels in the cavalry brigade, and by its commander, and should he be appointed brigadier-general he would still be ranked by General Dearing, which would cause embarrassment in the administration of affairs in that district. For these reasons I urgently request that a permanent commander be sent to command the First Military District at once, as changes from time to time are detrimental to the service, as each new commander views the defenses of his district in a different light, and undoes in a manner what has been the labor of days and weeks of his predecessor. And besides these considerations, the enemy ascertain