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Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia,

Orange Court-House, August 15, 1863


General S. Cooper:

Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:

General: Lists of absentees without leave from this army, arranged separately, according to the county or congressional district in which the men are supposed to be, have been called for, and are being forwarded to the Bureau of Conscription, with the request that the commandants of conscripts in the several States be instructed to cause efforts to be made to arrest these men, and return them to their commands. I deem it expedient to make every exertion to increase the effective strength of this army, and respectfully request that the Department will call the attention of the Superintendent of the Bureau of Conscription to the importance of the earnest co-operation of the enrolling officers in causing to return to duty the number of soldiers wandering at large through the country, who should be with their commands in the field.

I am, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

R E Lee,



Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 29, Part 2, p. 647

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2019 April 2