and Petersburg papers asking magistrates to report to me any cases that came under their notice. I have never received a report from anyone.
JAS. L. CORLEY,
Chief of Quartermaster.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
March 28, 1865.
Respectfully returned to the honorable Secretary of War.
Every exertion has been made to correct the evil complained of. Copies of orders on this subject issued from the headquarters at different times are inclosed.*
For General R. E. Lee:
W. H. TAYLOR,
[Inclosure Numbers 3] GENERAL ORDERS, HDQRS. ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, Numbers 7. March 23, 1865.
In view of the increasing importance of the farming interests to the army and the families of soldiers, the following general order is republished:
The commanding general again calls the attention of officers and soldiers of this army to the importance of aiding the farmers of the country in raising their crops, by abstaining from destruction of fences and avoiding injury to fields of growing grain.
The failure of the crops in districts occupied by the army will detract from our supplies and render a large population heretofore contributing to our support dependent upon other portions of the country. The fortitude of citizens in districts which have suffered from our presence and the inroads of the enemy appeals to the sympathy of their defenders.
The contracted limits of cultivated country renders it more difficult to procure subsistence, and self-preservation requires that protection and every aid be given to the production of the necessaries of life. Commandos of troops will cause all orders relating to this subject to be read to their commands at least once a week until all are fully informed, and will give personal attention to their observance, especially General Orders, Numbers 10, series of 1864.
The protection of the agricultural interests of the country is committed to the army. Officers and soldiers are called upon to give the farmers all the aid in their power in the preservation of their fences and crops from injury. They will thus increase our own supplies and alleviate the sufferings of those who look to us as their defenders.
R. E. LEE,
CONFIDENTIAL] TREDEGAR IRON-WORKS,
Richmond, March 7, 1865.
Honorable JOHN C. BRECKINRIDGE,
Secretary of War:
SIR: We regret to see by the removal of Government supplies from this city that its evacuation must be a contingency which the Government feels it necessary or prudent to provide for. Under these circumstances we trust you will pardon us for asking that the Government will inform us (in confidence) what disposition in such an event will be
*For inclosures Nos. 1 and 2, see Vol. XXV, Part II, p. 708, and Vol. XXXIII, p. 1126.