War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 0012 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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January 11, 1863.

His Excellency President JEFFERSON DAVIS:

Mr. PRESIDENT: I have the honor to have received your letter of the 7th instant, with the two enclosures from Colonel Imboden. In accordance with your instructions I have addressed a communication to General Halleck upon the subject, a copy of which I inclose herewith.* I have taken the liberty of extending the time for his response to ten days, as I ascertain that five days would be too short a period for the investigation to be made and the reply to reach this point.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully,

R. E. LEE,



Washington City, D. C., January 12, 1863.


New York:

GENTLEMEN: I am directed by the Secretary of War to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 8th instant+ asking this Department, in redemption of the promise made to you at the time you undertook to discover and establish in the United States the art of making gunbarrel iron equal in all useful qualities to the best English Marshall iron, at a cost, if possible, of not more than 8 cents a pound, that the price should be increased, if you could not make the iron at 8 cents a pound, to 10 cents a pound, provided that the increased price should at no time exceed the price of imported Numbers 1 Marshall iron. In reply the Secretary of War instructs me to say that in view of the difficulties you have encountered, your large outlay, the increased cost of materials and labor, the rise in the price of imported Marshall iron to 12 1\2 cents a pound, the manifest impossibility of making such iron under present circumstances at 8 cents a pound, the agreement of this Department to increase the price to 10 cents a pound if necessary, and, in addition to all, the great national importance of discovering and establishing in this country the art of fabricating such iron upon a scale adequate to the supply of our armories, he has deemed, it just and proper to accede to your rinstructed Brigadier General J. W. Ripley, Chief of Ordnance, to pay you for gun-barrel iron hereafter delivered under the order to you from this Department of September 10, 1862, for 2,000 tons, at the rate of 10 cents a pound, instead of 8 cents a pound, as stipulated in said order.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Assistant Secretary of War.


Richmond, Va., January 12, 1863.

General R. E. LEE,

Commanding, &c.:

SIR: Your letter of the 10th instant relative to the outrages practiced by the odious Federal General Milroy on our citizens of the Valley


* See January 10, p. 10

+ Omitted.