and equipments as they may find in the hands of persons not in the service, or who will report the same to those officers. A prompt compliance with this call with greatly promote the efficiency and strength of the army, particularly of the cavalry, and render it better able to protect the homes and property of the people from outrage.
R. E. LEE,
OFFICE INSPECTOR-GENERAL OF FIELD TRANSPORTATION, Richmond, January 25, 1865.
Chief Quartermaster, Army of Northern Virginia, Petersburg:
COLONEL: General Early, I understand, has been furloughing men from the artillery of his army, allowing them to take artillery horses with them. Has this been done by General Lee's knowledge and consent? Some of these men have applied to this office of employment in collecting captured and abandoned animals. If the artillery horses are used by the men in such business they must soon become worthless. I suggest that some restriction be placed on the use of the horses, even if it is deemed to be good policy to allow the men to take the horses from their commands at all.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. H. COLE,
Major and Inspector-General of Transportation.
JANUARY 27, 1865.
Respectfully referred to General Lee.
I infer from Colonel Cole's letter that the men referred to are using the horses improperly.
JAS. L. CORLEY.
HEADQUARTERS, January 28, 1865.
Respectfully forwarded to General Early for his action.
R. L. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS VALLEY DISTRICT, February 3, 1865.
These men have been furloughed on condition that they foraged the horses. It was the only means of saving the horses, as they were dying daily from want of forage which could not be procured in this Valley, and I was informed that none would be furnished by the Quartermaster's Department from other quarters. Officers were sent with the men to make State inspections and report, and these officers report the horses I will have all these horses brought back, as this step would not have been adopted except form absolute necessity.
J. A. EARLY,