War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0011 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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Should it unfortunately prove to be true. I am instructed to ask whether your Government will tolerate the execution of order so barbarous and so revolting to every principle of justice and humanity. Should you not deem it proper to respond to these inquiries it will be reluctantly assumed after the expiration of ten days from the date of this communication that the order is that of General Milroy, and that its execution will not be restrained. In that event I am directed to inform you that this Government will be completed to protect its citizens by the immediate adoption of stern retaliatory measures.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General.

[First indorsement.]

JANUARY 15, 1863.

Respectfully refereed to Major-General Schenck to ascertain and report if the inclosed papers are copies of genuine originals.

Brigadier-General Milroy had no authority to issue these orders, which are deemed in violation of the laws of war. If such orders were actually issued must be revoked.

H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief.

[Second indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS EIGHT ARMY CORPS,

Baltimore, Md., January 16, 1863.

Respectfully referred to Brigadier-General Kelley, who will obtain from General Milroy the information called for by the General-in-Chief .

By command of Major-General Schneck:

WM. D. WHIPPLE,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Third indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS DEFENSES UPPER POTOMAC,

Harper's Ferry, January 21, 1863.

Respectfully transmitted to Brigadier-General Milroy, who will report the information called for by the General-in-Chief.

By order of Brigadier-General Kelley:

T. MELVIN,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,

January 10, 1863.

Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War:

SIR: In view of the atrocious orders issued by the Federal General Milroy, with regard to citizens of the Valley District, I would respectfully recommend that prisoners from his command captured by our forces be not exchanged, but that they be held as hostages for the protection of our people again the outrages which he is reported to be committing.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,

General.