War of the Rebellion: Serial 108 Page 0456 MD., E. N. C., PA., VA., EXCEPT S. W., & W. VA. Chapter LXIII.

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perils, and in defense of our homes and our rights to lead you to new battles to be crowned with signal victories. You are now undergoing the severest trail of a soldier's life; the one by which is discipline and capacity for endurance are most thoroughly tested. My faith in your patriotism, your devotion and determination, and in your high soldierly qualities is so great that I shall rest assured you will pass through the ordeal resolutely, triumphantly. Still, I cannot quit you without deep emotion, without even deep anxiety in the moment of our country's trials and dangers. Above all, I am anxious that may brave countrymen here in arms, fronting the haughty array and muster of Northern mercenaries, should thoroughly appreciate the exigency, and hence comprehend that this is no time for the Army of the Potomac, the men of Manassas, to stack their arms and quit, even for a brief period, the standard they have made glorious by their manhood. All must understand this and feel the magnitude of the conflict impending, the universal personal sacrifices this war has entailed, and our duty to meet them as promptly and unflinchingly as you have meet the enemy in line of battle.

To the Army of the Shenandoah I desire to return my thanks for their endurance in the memorable march to my assistance last July their timely, decisive arrival, and for their conspicuous steadiness and gallantry on the field of battle. Those of their comrades of both corps and of all arms of the Army of the Potomac not so fortunate as yet to have been with us in conflict with our enemy, I leave with all confidence that on occasion they will show themselves fit comrades for the men of Manassas, Bul Run, and Ball's Bluff.


General, commanding.


HEADQUARTERS, Yorktown, Va., January 30, 1862.

General S. COOPER,

Adjutant-General, C. S. Army, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: I had the honor to receive a letter* from the Secretary of War last night, in which he stated that he did not object to impressment within my department when necessary, but disapproved of my impressing out of my department. I have to state in reply that I cannot hire slaves, as I was informed I would be enabled to do; that I have impressed the slaves of the counties composing my department two, three, or four times; that if I impress them again the War Department will be crowded with men complaining of the injustice of being compelled to do all the work, while other deeply interested are not called upon to do any; that it was for this reason I had called on counties which had furnished no slaves to send one-third of their male slave labor. I have also to state that I requested Captain Rives, in charge of the Engineer Bureau, to take charge of this department and to furnish the labor on works ordered by his Department, and he declined doing it, as I am informed by Captain Lawton, of the Department, by whom I made the proposition. The greater part of the troops are in front in winter quarters, nearer the enemy than the works ordered by the engineers; and besides that they have been worked excessively; have as much field work to do as they can attend to. These works ordered by the engineers are absolutely necessary, and all in a dangerous state until finished. I


*See Benjamin to Magruder, January 27, 1862, VOL. IX, p.36.