O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME LI/2 [S# 108]
Confederate Correspondence, Orders, And Returns Relating To Operations In Maryland, Eastern North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia (Except Southwestern), And West Virginia.--#33
January 20, 1864.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
President Confederate States:
Mr. PRESIDENT: I heard some days since that several men of this army, mostly Louisianians that were in or passing through Richmond, were joining General Morgan's command. I wrote to the Secretary of War on the subject and requested it might be stopped. Since then I have received other evidences of the fact. A member of my staff informs me that Dr. F. W. Hancock, of Jackson Hospital, Richmond, stated to him yesterday that a recruiting officer of General Morgan had visited his hospital, promised the men clothes and two months' furlough; that twenty-five or thirty convalescents whom he was about to send to this army deserted, and he understood were forwarded to Decatur, Ga. Doctor Hancock also stated that he heard from 200 to 250 men in other hospitals had been seduced away. I am sure that General Morgan would neither countenance nor authorize such proceedings, but I know how unscrupulous many men are in raising companies. You will see if this conduct is allowed that all discipline is destroyed and our armies will be ruined. I have, therefore, to request that all these men be returned to this army, and that the officers who have been engaged in this illicit conduct be punished.
I have the honor, &c.,
[33.] R.E. LEE.