War of the Rebellion: Serial 096 Page 1110 N. AND SE. VA., N. C., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.

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General S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL: It is reported to me that in several instances in Cooke's brigade in which officers have been recommended to be retired the papers forwarded have not been heard from for three, four, and even six months. This prevents the promotion of other officers, and is injurious to the efficiency of the army. Cases of proceedings of examining board under General Orders, Numbers 94, Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, series 1862, are also frequently delayed after transmission to the Department. I respectfully request that these evil be corrected; they are very prejudicial to the service. The system of examining boards is the only means we have of getting rid of inefficient officers; and I need not remind you of the importance of effecting this, and getting suitable successors to them, before active operations begin.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,


SENATE CHAMBER, January 20, 1865.

Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War:

I agree with Mr. Hunter in regarding the accompanying letter of so much importance as to make it proper that it should be submitted to you.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,



STAUNTION, VA., January 17,1 865.


Senators from Virginia:

GENTLEMEN: Knowing the deep interest you feel in all that concerns the Confederacy in this trying crisis, when the young Republic is rocking to its foundations, I beg leave to call your attention to the subsistence of our armies in Virginia, for if we should fail to gain our independence it will be for the want of provisions for our men and forage for our horses. Impressments will not feed the men and horses; but adopt this plan: Take one-fifth or one-fourth of all the produce of every kind, for instance, in the counties of Augusta, Rockingham, rock bridge, Botetourt, and Roanoke, paying the market price for the same. There is enough in these counties to supply General Early's army. Under the present plan, in two months, not one horse in ten will e fit for service, and the men will not be supplies with rations without drawing from other parts of the country. In my opinion this system will work well all over Virginia. It operates alike on all, and will furnish large supplies where but little is now obtained. At least, all other plans having failed, it is at least wise to make the trial. Many families in Virginia would be willing to reduce their living to one-half they