OFFICE OF CHIEF COMMISSARY FOR VIRGINIA, C. S . A.,
Richmond, May 16, 1864.
Colonel L. B. NORTHROP,
COLONEL: A large lot of cotton and tobaco has been passed through our lines to Loudoun and Fuaquier without authority of law, and is now being exchanged for bacon to be sold within our lines on specualation. I have the names of about a dozen parties who are engaged int his trade, a nas it operates injuriously to the interest of the Government, notonly by competitiona and the underbidding of the parties who are opereating I these counties for this bureau, but alsotakes fromteh army a large amount of meat which it would otherwise get, I desire, respectfully, through you to call the attetnion of the Secretary of War to this subject, and ask that instrucitons be given to LietuenatnColonel Mosby to aid the officers of this bureau in putting down this unlawful trade by seizing the cotton and tobacco which have been passed through the lines without proper permit, a neither use the same fort he use of the Government in barter for meat or require the parties to deliver to the Government the full fvalue in meat, of all the tobacco and cotton they have thus illegally or informally taken through the elines. This is but justice to those parties who are engaged in leagal trade, a ndiwll effectually prevent future violations of thelaw. I have spoken to Lieutenant-Clonel Mosby on this subject, and he will cheerfully, if authorized, render the desired aid.
Resepctfully, your obedient servant,
B. P. NOLAND,
Major and Chief COmmissary of Subsistence for Virginia.
Resepctfully referred to the Secretary of War.
I think it better to confiscate the property oft the lawbreakers, and keep this trade in the hands of Government agents.
L. B. NORTHROP,
MAY 18, 1864.
As some of this tobacco may and probably was placed before late orders, instruct COlonel Mosby as suggested by majo Noland. For the future the orders will be observed, and the tobacco and the like will, under their directin, be handed over for adjudication.
J. A. S.,
RICHMON, d May 16, 1864.]
GenerL R. E. LEE:
I have the satisfaction of communicating the following ispatch received int the night from GenerL Breckinridge.* A geenral engagement is now going on on the south side, GenrL Beauregard having attacked this mronig. I cannot forbear adding offiially, as well ax personally, the appreciation and gratitude felt for the grand achievement and heroic constancy of yourself and your noble army in the
*See May 15, VOL. XXXVII, Part I, p. 87.