NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY, VA., February 24, 1865.
DEAR SIR: Your are aware, doubtless, that many of Mosby's men are quartered among us this winter, and with the characteristic liberality of our people are treated kindly and properly as good soldiers should be. Their conduct has been fair until lately, so much so as to be gratifying to my own feelings and to commend them for good behavior to the Executive. I was led to do so from the bearing of those with whom I came in contact, but I have been premature. Forgetting the kindness shown them and the fame they have enjoyed under their gallant leader, they are resorting to the most unpricipled acts. Recently a number of men, claiming to belong to Colonel Mosby's command, visited Thomas Beatty's (you know him), and forcibly took possession of considerable property belonging to him and some blockade-runners waiting at his house a chance to get over the bay. They stated they were authorized to take will blockade goods, but in this instance the men had been to Richmond, sold their goods, paid their duties, and to effect a favorable exchange had brought back domestics, &c., under the sanction of the Government, all of which these soldiers took, together with their pocket-books, and even the boots, off of some of their feet,se property belonging to Mr. Beaty, and a double-barreled gun belonging to my nephew, which he had loaned to Mr. Beatty; in all, several thousand dollars' worth.
I write this to you hoping that if you are acquainted with Colonel Mosby, if in Richmond you will acquaint him with the conduct of this portion of his command-I hope a small portion, for it is lamentable to suppose that men who have distinguished themselves by bravery and patriotism would sully their fair fame as a body by such ignoble acts. I am sure that Colonel Mosby does not permit such conduct anywhere, particularly in a community that mete out to him all praise, and are now denying themselves in order that his men may be properly cared for, and he owes to his own fame to see that these men are brought to punishment and be made to make restitution for what they have thus so dishonorably taken. Could I find out who commands them here I would consider it my duty as a good citizen to make it known to the commandant, but in the absence of such knowledge I have thought it proper to acquaint you, trusting you will have the means of informing Colonel Mosby, for, if this thing is not promptly checked, life and property is in jeopardy.
I am very sorry that these thefts occur, for it sullies the reputation of the soldier, is injurious to us as a people, affects the cause, and gives us a very bad reputation abroad.
Hoping this will find you well, and a speedy and honorable close of the war, I am, sir yours, very truly,
R. K. FORD,
Your friend James Sutton is in a low state of health, and has been unwell for some time.
March 6, 1865.
General R. E. LEE, Commanding, &c.:
I think that the assignment of our exchanged prisoners to companies and regiments of this army of their States would have the effect to