ELKDALE, CULPEPER, VA., August 9, 1861.
Honorable L. P. WALKER,
Secretary of War:
SIR: My wound heals so rapidly that I expect to report for duty at Manassas by the 1st of September. I shall probably have a brigade assigned me, and should it not be incompatible with the good of the service, request that the Second Florida Regiment be attached to my command. Remembering your former kindness, I have unhesitatingly made the above request, and hope, unless urgent reasons exist to the contrary, you will forward the wishes of Colonel George T. Ward and myself in the matter.
Respectfully, yours, &c.,
E. KIRBY SMITH,
Brigadier-General, Provisional Army, Confederate States.
HEADQUARTERS, Numbers 57.
Bethel Church, August 9, 1861.
The depredations committed on private property by the troops of this command are so base and cowardly in their character as to throw discredit on all officers, non-commissioned officers, and men who compose it. Houses and premises of patriotic citizens who have left their homes and taken up arms in defense of their principles have been violently invaded, instead of being approached with the respect due their gallant owners, and been robbed of valuable property, in one case including certificate of bank stock. Carpet-bags and ressing-cases of the wives of these citizens have been broken open and robbed of their contents. Poultry, sheep, hogs, &c., which have been spared by the enemy have been seized upon by our soldiers without the permission of the owners and appropriated. Fields of growing corn belonging to very poor people, but who are true to our cause, have been destroyed by our amry, and helpless women and children, whose husbands and fathers are absent in the field, have implored the commanding general with bitter tears to save their crops of corn to prevent starvation to their children and themselves during the approaching winter. The commanding general cannot believe that he is surrounded by his countrymen when such statements are made, and made with truth. He cannot believe in the honor, bravery, or common honesty of any under his command who would commit such acts, tolerate them in others, and fail to use, whether private or officer, all the means in his power to bring such offenders to condign punishment. He is happy, however, to say that it is the few and not the many who have brought this disgrace upon the army to the deep injury of our cause, but as the officers and privates from first to last must share this discredit, all are in honor bound to use their utmost exertions to prevent or avenge it. Commanding officers are therefore ordered to place sentinels over the houses, premises, and fields of all citizens in the vicinity of their camp, and to send out partols to take up all offenders of whatever regiments, and it is ordered that these offenders be punished by their commanding officers in the most severe and summary manner. Every field officer, captain, lieutenant, non-commissioned officer, and private of this command is called upon and hereby ordered to arrest and bring before their commanding officer any one found guilty of robbing, even to the value of one ear of corn or a chicken, any inhabitant of the country in