Near Chantilly, Va., September 3, 1862
(Received September 8, 1862)
Hon. George W. Randolph,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
Sir: I have the honor to inform you that there are many conscripts in the counties recently vacated by the enemy that can now be had. In Fauquier I am informed that intelligent militia officers estimate the number as exceeding 400, who can all readily be obtained now. I respectfully suggest that measures be taken at once to get these conscripts and those in the adjoining counties, as also in the valley, and would advise that they be taken to Richmond for future distribution, under the law. There are also in all these counties men who have left the service and gone home within the late lines of the enemy. These also, I respectfully suggest, should be apprehended as soon as possible. It can now readily be done by obtaining the assistance of the State authorities.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R E Lee
Above complied with, September 9
Inclosed copies of this letter to Lieut. Col. J. C. Shields and Governor Letcher. Inform Colonel Shields that I will have immediate and active exertions made to get the conscripts and deserters out of the counties evacuated by the enemy. Request Governor Letcher to call on the State officers to give us all the assistance in their power. A proclamation to that effect would produce a good effect.
G. W. Randolph,
Secretary of War
Source: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series 1, Vol. 19, Part 2, pp. 589-590
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 August 30