District has, together with other documents evidencing and illustrating his atrocities, been submitted to the President, and will be appropriately noticed by him in his forthcoming message. It is gratifying to the Department to have its views of the necessarily of restraining such savage conduct by appropriated retaliation sustained by your judgment and sanction.
It may not be inappropriate in this connection to submit to your consideration a letter just received by the Department from Mr. M. R. Kaufman, a member of the General Assembly, complaining of the inactivity of our troops in the Valley. One or two other similar memorials have been sent to the Department, but I have not thought it necessary to trouble you with them. Your own greater knowledge and superior discrimination will enable you to determine what weigh is to be attached to such complaints, and what remedy, if, any, is advisable.
With high esteem, most respectfully, yours.
JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
RICHMOND, January 10, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
DEAR SIR: In behalf of the citizens of the Valley of Virginia I earnestly solicit you to inquire into the condition of affairs in that region. We have no earthly protection from our forces; the enemy are allowed with impunity to make raids through the different counties without fear of molestation. While I do not wish to find fault with our commanding officers, not knowing whether they are acting under orders or not, it is quite strange to me that 1,200 or 1.500 of the enemy should be allowed quietly to march into Strasburg, take peaceable possession, commit all sorts of thefts and robberies, retire a few miles down the valley, commit similar atrocities, remain several days, and retire to Winchester, when we have a force in the valley of nearly double that amount of men, who upon every move of the enemy continue to fall back farther and farther from the enemy. I speak what I know when I say, the neareste Federal lines is about twenty-eight miles, and only on one occasion since the occupation of Winchester has a scouting party been sent out in that direction. My residence is about ten miles south of Winchester. I have on three occasions visited my home with a view to get all the information I could, and wrote General Jones from Woodistock giving him a statement of facts gained by observation, and promises to act as guide provided he would send a scouting party down. I am sure we could have captured several foraging parties. My entreaties were in vain. Of the late campaign of our forces to Moorefield, you may obtain accurate information by summoning Charles Williams, esq., delegate from Hardy County, who was with them. I saw the Yanke cavalry in Strasburg last Saturday, which is eighteen miles from Winchester. I have since learned that a scouting party entered Woodstock, thirty miles from Winchester. There is still a large amount of wheat in the lower valley, certainly enough to keep an army sufficient to keep the valley clearly of the public enemy. Could we have such protection large preparations would be made for a crop of corn, which must be very essential to the support of the army.