Hdqrs. Department of Northern Virginia,

August 1, 1862


Maj. Gen. James Longstreet,

Commanding Division:

General: The communication of Col. John V. Moore, commanding Second Brigade, referred to me by you, is received. It presents a state of affairs in his command greatly to be regretted. It is useless to rely on pickets to prevent men from leaving their commands, and it can only be accomplished by employing a guard around the encampment. I desire that you will take every necessary step to enforce discipline, and I think that under the circumstances of this case you had better write to General Jenkins to return to his command. Under orders issued from these headquarters transportation is not given to discharged soldiers of this army except upon orders from myself, and I feel confident that there must be some mistake in the charge against Captain Wood, who is very particular in the discharge of his duties. Passports are no doubt obtained by fraudulent and false representations. In cases of discharge of men by reason of being beyond the age of thirty-five years the officer giving the discharge is required to certify the age of the party from the muster rolls. As to the acts said to have been perpetuated by Maule, in enlisting men belonging to this brigade, I shall bring the matter to the attention of the Department for investigation at once. With regard to the 80 men who are reported as having left camp, alleging that they had enlisted in a cavalry company to serve in Western Virginia and had received furloughs for that reason and transportation to South Carolina, I presume that was merely the assertion of the men themselves; but that so large a number of men should leave the battalion without the knowledge of the officers commanding and that no report was made until the next day indicates an exceedingly lax state of things in the command, inviting the serious attention of their superiors.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R E Lee,




Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 11, Part 3, p. 659

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2018 November 29