Richmond, Va., August 8, 1863.
Honorable W. T. DORTCH,
Goldsborough, N. C.:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 4th instant, and beg to express my satisfaction at the free communication of your views and the feelings of the people, of which I wish to be kept informed, that the action of the Department may, so far as it prudently can, be in sympathy with them. The change of commanders without tangible grounds in difficult, but the matter will be borne in mind, and, as occasion offers, the mischief remedied.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 191.
Richmond, Va., August 12, 1863.
* * * * *
XV. Colonel J. Q. A. Nadenbousch, Second Regiment Virginia Volunteers, will relieve Colonel H. B. Davidson in command of the post at Staunton, Va. Colonel Davidson, on being relieved, will report to Major General S. B. Buckner, commanding, &c., at Knoxville, Tenn., for assignment to duty.
* * * * *
By command of the Secretary of War:
HDQRS. ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, Numbers 82.
August 12, 1863.
The following order from the Adjutant and Inspector General's Office is the published for the information of all concerned in this army.* In accordance with the above, no charges will be preferred against those officers and soldiers absent without leave or who may have deserted, who return to their commands within the period prescribed. Charges against such as have been accused of desertion or absence without leave will be withdrawn and all undergoing trial or punishment for these offenses will be at once released form arrest and returned to duty, excepting only those who have been twice convicted of desertion or who have absented themselves from their commands since the publication of the President's address in the papers in this State.
By command of General R. E. Lee:
W. H. TAYLOR,
HDQRS. ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, Numbers 84.
August 16, 1863.
In order to allow as many of our brave soldiers to visit their families and friends as can be done consistently with the good of the service,
*See VOL. XXIX, Part II, p. 641.