War of the Rebellion: Serial 108 Page 0461 Chapter LXIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.- CONFEDERATE.

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[Inclosure No. 1.]


General J. E. JOHNSTON,

Commanding Department of Northern Virginia:

GENERAL: * * * The ordinary exponents, sickness and mortality, do not indicate remarkable suffering in the Valley troops. The medical director's report shows but little increase over that of the mild month of December; the mortality has been small, and the character of the sickness higher than in the Potomac district. Reports of hardship and wretchedness have been sown broadcast through the country by discontented men and officers, but they are exaggerated, and I cannot discontented men and officers, but they are exaggerated, ane I cannot discover the evidence of any ills not shared by the other troops in their routine of picket and other duty in front of Bull Run. On the contrary, the fact that the most of these troops had the measles, &c., in the spring or early summer, thus avoiding the encounter of the sequels in bad weather, would indicate them as best prepared for winter service, comparatively. There was suffering in the march to Bath and Romeny in inclement weather, but mainly of a transient character. The other brigades did not suffer like those of General Loring's command. The trains of the latter were sometimes behind band, but the difference may be inferred as one of inferior management. Hundreds who fell back here to hospitals were found by the doctors to have nothing the matter with them at all, and they stated they were encouraged to come by their officers without medical certificates. There is evidently much moral discontent in the present Romeny command, owing to a disappointment in hopes of better position, winter quarters, and furloughs. In the recent expedition, its objects not being known, it is stated that the character and conduct of the expedition were openly denounced before the troops by officers, even in the highest place. You will observe in a petition of officers forwarded by General Loring the points is made that Romney is a poegical value." Information form our best citizens in Western Virginia indicates that the moral effect of holding as much of this region as present military policy will permit is very desirable. I find the spirit throughout our troops everywhere, in regard to re-enlisting, is much injured by the perverse views taken of the law giving furloughs conditional on re-enlistment, which they interpret as an effort to force them into service rather than draft on those who have staid at home.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. W. LAY,

Lieutenant Colonel, Asst. Adjt. General, Insp. General, dept. of N. Virginia.

[Inclosure No. 2.]

WINCHESTER, VA., January 31 [30?], 1862.

Colonel LAY,

Inspector-General, Army and Dept. of Northern Virginia:

COLONEL: I have the honor to report that the total number of sick remaining in hospitals at the present time is 1,163. About 800 of these are from the command of Brigadier-General Loring; the remainder are form the First Brigade Virginia Volunteers, the militia, and cavalry. The sick from the last named have been accumulating for several months; those from General Loring's army have been to have been caused by the expedition to Bath and Romney. I cannot tell how many men were sent back during that expedition, as no record has been turned