EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, C. S. A.,
Richmond, January 21, 1864.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: By direction of the President, I have the honor to send you annexed copy of a letter from General R. E. Lee.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. M. BROWNE,
Colonel and Aide-de-Camp.
January 20, 1864.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
President Confederate States:
Mr. PRESIDENT: I heard some days since that several men of this army, mostly Louisianians that were in or passing through Richmond, were joining General Morgan's command. I wrote to the Secretary of War on the subject and requested it might be stopped. Since then I have received other evidences of the fact. A member of my staff informs me that Dr. F. W. Hancock, of Jackson Hospital, Richmond, stated to him yesterday that a recruiting officer of General Morgan had visited his hospital, promised the men slothes and two months' furlough; that twenty-five of thirty convlescents whom he was about to send to this army deserted, and he understood were forwarded to Decatur, Ga. Doctor Hancock also stated that he heard from 200 to 250 men in other hospitals had been seduced away. I am sure that General Morgan would neiter countenace nor authorize such proceedings, but I know how unscrupulus many me are in raising companies. You will see if this conduct is allowed that all discipline is destroyed and our amies will be ruined. I have, therefore, to request that all these men be returned to this army, and that the officers who have been engaged in this illicit conduct be punished.
I have the honor, &c.,
R. E. LEE.
Richmond, Va., January 24, 1864.
GENTLEMEN OF THE "JOINT COMMITTEE ON THE STATE OF THE COUNTRY," GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF VIRGINIA:
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of resolution adopted by the General Assembly of Virginia in relation to certain restrictions said to have been placed on the transportation of supplies of food to the cities of Richmond and Petersburg. Upon investigation I find that no orders have emanated from the War Department or the Provost-Marshal of Richmond of the character supposed in the resolution. I however learn that there may be an order of the character spoken of, emanating from the lieutenant-general commanding the Confederate forces on the north side of the James River, which, if so, will be ascertained at once, he having been furnished with a copy of the resolution and called upon for information touching the same.
I am, gentlemen, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,