War of the Rebellion: Serial 108 Page 0690 MD. E. N. C., PA., VA., EXCEPT S. W., & W. VA. Chapter LXIII.

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SPECIAL ORDERS,

ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 76.

Richmond, Va., March 30, 1863.

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XV. By directioon of the Secretary of War, the Virginia militia now encamped near Petersburg, Va., is discharged the service of the Confederate States.

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By command of the Secretary of War:

JOHN WITHERS,

[18.] Assistant Adjutant-General.

ENGINEER BUREAU,

Richmond, March 31, 1863.

Honorable SECRETARY OF WAR:

SIR: As the call for salves to labor on the public defenses in Virginia, submitted by the bureau for your approval on the 4th instant, cannot be responded by the even the counties nearest the works before the 10th proximo, the time at which you have determined to release all classes so employed, I respectfully suggest that the said call, which is still in the hands of His Excellency the Governor of Virginia, be withdrawn.

Very respectfully,

J. F. GILMER,

[25.] Colonel of Engineers and Chief of Bureau.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Richmond, April 1, 1863.

General R. E. LEE,

Commanding &c.:

GENERAL: I have received your letter asking that 100 slaves be put to work on the Virginia Central Railroad for sixty days. In reply I have the honor to say that the act recently passed by the General Assembly does not permit a diversion of the slaves called out from the various counties of the State from the fortifications and other works strictly pertaining to the publict defense. Objection was made even to their employment on the Piedmont Railroad connecting Danville and Greensborough*.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES A. SEDDON,

[25.] Secretary of War.

RICHMOND, VA., April 1, 1863.

General R. E. LEE,

Commanding, &c.:

General Elzey reports as reliable that Newport News has been abandoned by the enemy. No tents there. Burnside and his corps (Ninth) passed through Baltimore a few days since to re-enforce Rosecrans. Other troops have been sent from Hooker's army into Tennessee. Would like your views on this+.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

[25.]

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* This in reply to Lee of March 25, VOL. XXV, Part II, p. 683.

+ For reply, see April 4, VOL. XXV, Part II, p. 702.

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