illegal traffic in my section, as there is no immediate officer fully authorized and no force to defect and call men to account for trading without permits.
Pardon me if I suggest what seems the most economical and effectual remedy. Let all private parties now holding cotton between the Roanoke and Chowan Rivers be required to remove it beyond (west) the former, or suffer it to be impressed by some officer specially charged with that duty for the Subsistence Department now much pressed for cotton. Let all private parties whatever be forbidden to purchase and bring cotton from the interior whatever be forbidden to purchase and bring cotton from the interior, east of the Roanoke, upon pain of impressment. Let all cotton required for exchange by officers or agents of the Subsistence Department be purchased in the interior by the chief commissaries of districts of the State, and be supplied the exchanging officer or agent on receipts and invoiced, and transported only through regular channels. By this last arrangement one great opening for abuse will be closed, that of purchasing and running cotton through privately, in connection with some purchased and exchanged on Government account. Let a shrewd and upright officer be assigned as commanding on the Chowan, and constituted an inspector of the trade, and fully authorized to enforce the rules and restrictions which may have been imposed on the traffic. Let him be supplied with one company of infantry for stationary picket at the crossings of swamps and rivers by main roads leading toward the lines, and two cavalry companies to act as scouts and detectives. Then let the reports of permits granted which we are now required to make to be sent regularly to him. He, be being fully posted by his scouts, pickets, and detectives, will be able to examine these reports knowingly, and to detect any wrong, and take immediate action in the matter. Under the present system the reports we make of passes, &c., only shows what has been done properly, while the illegal traffic goes on uninterrupted. The nature of this country, being crossed by swamps and creeks, impassable only at certain point, is well adapted to this plan suggested.
Finally, I deem it absolutely necessary that all State agents be subjected to the same rules with us, and be held accountable to the same authority.
These suggestion are submitted with the utmost deference, and my extreme anxiety to have something done toward remedying the evil referred to is my apology for length.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. P. GEORGE,
Captain and Assistant Commissary of Subsistence, Chowan Dist.
HEADQUARTERS ARTILLERY, ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, Numbers 3.
January 16, 1865
Colonel Cabell will proceed to the headquarters artillery First Corps, and act as chief of artillery for that corps during the absence of General Alexander on furlough just granted. The senior captain of his battalion act as its commander while Colonel Cabell is thus absent.
W. N. PENDLETON,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Artillery.