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Confederate Staff Officer

Item CON-5860
November 20, 1864 Alexander W. Harris
Price: $245.00


Original Civil War Confederate soldier's letter. 2 pages written in period ink. Captain Alexander W. Harris, Assistant Adjutant General and Assistant Commissary of Subsistence to General Danville Leadbetter.

Office Post Commission
Marion, Virginia

November 20th 1864

Captain Isaac Shelby
Wytheville, Virginia

Dear Sir:

Yours of yesterday at hand and while I question your authority to countermand an order from Secretary of War, placing me on duty Assistant Post CS at Marion, knowing that there is no power aside from the C.G.S. or the War Department, to relieve me of said duties, still to all intents and purposes, I shall obey the order and start first train to Tennessee—have already sent off my horses to meet me at Bristol.

I do not turn over stores, however, for want of time, leave a sergeant in charge who will attend to issues, and until I can get the machine in motion at Morristown, and I get time to return and attend to the transfer, in the meantime, we will hear from the Commissary General on the subject, as I have enclosed him your letter and copy of order. I received a letter from Colonel Northrup yesterday saying that he would relieve me of duty here. When necessary for me to resume my old district in Tennessee. He said nothing about authorizing you to control my movements, nor did he express a desire for me to report to Captain Orr. I move in obedience to the order, however, in as much as General Breckinridge’s name is affixed to it, for he is an officer for whom I entertain a very great degree of admiration and do not believe he would permit an officer to be censured by War Department for moving under his orders, (though he may not now be conscious that such order have been sent from his Wytheville Headquarters). And though it be in violation of orders from the War Department.

The sheep skins were turned over to Captain Henneworth for transportation to Captain Venable on the 16th inst., and I supposed he had received before this. Will send more as soon as I butcher.

Very Respectfully,
Your Obedient Servant,

Alex W. Harris
Captain and A.C.S.