WAR DEPARTMENT, ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE, Washington, D. C., December 17, 1863.
SIR: The following instructions in regard to the discharge of enlisted men belonging to the Invalid Corps are furnished for your information and guidance:
Men of the Invalid Corps will be discharged in the same manner as other soldiers-for disability, for promotion, or by sentences of courts-martial, by the commander of the corps or department in which they may be serving. Men discharged by expiration of service should be mustered out of service by the commissary of musters of the corps or department in which they are serving.
Though a department commander may not exercise an immediate command over the Invalid Corps, this matter of discharge is intrusted to him for convenience of administration.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. D. TOWNSEND,
NEW ORLEANS, December 18, 1863.
SIR: I concur in the opinion so generally entertained, that it is for the interest of the country to deplete the rebel territory of that species of property which is made the basis of credit for the rebel Government with foreign nations. But great care is necessary to avoid an injury to ourselves in the operation.
Unless the ultimate and final disposition of the proceeds of this property be ascertained, we may find that the munitions of war furnished to the rebels and the pirates that they upon our commerce may be paid for and supported by rebel products passing through our hands to the markets of the world. No commercial advantages can counterbalance so great a wrong as this. In April I recommended that the cotton in Western and Northern Louisiana be allowed to find a market, one-half or 50 per cent. of the proceeds of sales being retained by the Government, but the Secretary of War thought it then not expedient to adopt this policy. The agents selected for the execution of the plan proposed should be designated by the General Government. These two points guarded-protection from public injury by the misappropriation of the proceeds of the sale of this property, and the selection of proper agents, if it cannot be made a general trade-I see no objections to the proposal made by the Treasury agents of this department.
I have the honor to be, with high respect, your obedient servant,
N. P. BANKS,
WASHINGTON CITY, D. C., December 19, 1863.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: The following suggestions are believed to be the proper remedies for the evils complained of by the citizens of Southern Kentucky:
First. Let an order be issued removing the recruiting camps for U. S. colored troops at Clarksville and Fort Donelson, Tenn., to points farther south of the Kentucky border-say Columbia and Jackson.