War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0448 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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in comparison with those we have heretofore had to manage. Some of our divisions exceed the army General Scott entered the City of Mexico with, and our brigades are larger than his divisions. The greatest difficulty I find is in causing orders and regulations to be obeyed. This arises not from a spirit of disobedience, but from ignorance. We therefore have need of a corps of officers to teach others their duty, see to the observance of orders, and to the regularity and precision of all movements. This is accomplished in the French service by their staff corps, educated, instructed, and practiced for the purpose. The same circumstances that produced that corps exist in our own Army. Can you not shape the staff of our Army to produce equally good results? Although the staff of the French army is larger than that proposed by Senate bill, I am in favor of keeping ours down, as it is so much easier to build up than to deduce, if experience renders it necessary. I would therefore assign one general officer to a general commanding an army in the field, and give to his inspector-general, quartermaster-general, commissary-general, chief of ordnance, and medical director the provisional grade of colonel of cavalry. I would reduce his aides and give to his chief of staff and inspector-general assistants, or they will never be able to properly attend to their outdoor and indoor work, which from the condition of our Army, as before stated, is very heavy. I would apply the same principles to the division and brigade staff, placing their chiefs on an equal footing and giving each a complete organization in itself, so that it can maneuver independently of the corps or division to which it is habitually attached and be detached with promptness and facility when required. Each, therefore, in addition to its general staff, should have a surgeon, quartermaster, commissary, and ordnance officer. If you can then fill these positions with proper officers, not the relatives and social friends of the commanders, who, however agreeable their company, are not always the most useful, you might hope to have the finest army in the world.

I beg you will excuse the liberty of my suggestion, and believe me, with great respect,

Your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,




Richmond, March 21, 1863.

I. Paragraph V, General Orders, No. 66, Adjutant and Inspector-General's Office, September 12, 1862, is so far amended as to read as follows:

Enrolling or recruiting officers, in the discharge of their duties under the conscript or other acts, are enjoined not to remove or interfere with workmen or employees at the niter, lead, or copper works, or mines or furnaces worked by Government officers, or by contractors for the Ordnance Department, without first apprising and obtaining the consent of the superintendent or officer in charge, who will be held strictly responsible for any abuse or evasion of the law.

II. The operation of paragraph 1253, Confederate States Army Regulations, is hereby suspended during the existing war.

III. Paragraph II, General Orders, No. 30, current series, is amended to read as follows: