Renewals of old subscriptions are always in order, and are receivable at this office, no matter by whom the original subscription was obtained. We find that where subscriptions are originally obtained by agents, there is a strong disposition to wait until the agent can “call again” before renewing the subscription. This is very well where we have a local agent, for in that case the agent is sure to call. But a large part of our list of subscribers is obtained by traveling agents, who cannot go back promptly to call on parties when their subscriptions expire. E. g., on the 1st of July about three hundred and fifty of our subscriptions expired; we have not been able to send an agent after them, and very few have as yet responded to our postal card notification. We beg that our friends will help us to secure new subscribers, and to induce old ones to renew. And we are very anxious to secure reliable agents in every community. We can afford to pay liberal commissions to efficient agents, and we beg that our friends will help us to obtain such agents.
The army of Northern Virginia Memorial volume, which the Secretary of our Society has compiled at the request of the “Virginia Division, Army of Northern Virginia Association,” has been unexpectedly delayed, but will now be pushed to completion. Besides a Roster of the Army of Northern Virginia, it will contain the addresses delivered at the great Lee memorial meeting in Richmond, in November, 1870, by President Davis, General Early, Colonel C. S. Venable, General John S. Preston, General John B. Gordon, Colonel Charles Marshall, General Henry A. Wise, Colonel William Preston Johnston and Colonel R. E. Withers, and the annual addresses before the Virginia Division, Army of Northern Virginia, by Colonel C. S. Venable, Colonel Charles Marshall, Major John W. Daniel, Captain W. Gordon McCabe, Private Leigh Robinson and-Colonel William Allan. The book will be neatly gotten up, and will be mailed for $2, $2.25 or $2.50 according to binding. It will be published only for subscribers, and in order to secure a copy you should send your name at once to J. William Jones, Box 61, Richmond, Virginia.
The question of the wearing of breastplates by soldiers in the United States army has had a somewhat amusing ventilation in the Nation recently. Captain J. A. Judson, who was Assistant Adjutant-General of Hatch's cavalry brigade, made a very fierce attack on General Dick Taylor's statement that he saw “breastplates and other protective devices” on the persons of Federal soldiers at Middleburg and Winchester, on Jackson's Valley compaign. The gallant Captain waited until after the death of General Taylor to say that he “states what he knew to be a deliberate falsehood,”  and uses other very ugly language concerning General Taylor's narrative, recalling to any fair minded man the old fable about “kicking the dead lion.” The editor of the Nation says in a note that as General Taylor's narrative had appeared in the North American Review a year before his death, “some of the severity of language expended on it would have been more appropriate at an earlier date.” In a subsequent issue of the Nation, W. S. Symington, of Baltimore, who was Adjutant of the Twenty-first Virginia regiment at the time, testifies that he saw at Middleburg and Winchester “several breastplates on dead Federal soldiers.” Colonel William LeRoy Broun (now professor in Vanderbilt University, then in charge of the arsenal at Richmond) publishes in the same issue a statement to the effect that a few days after the “Seven days battles” around Richmond, he “saw and carefully examined two steel breastplates taken from the bodies of two Federal soldiers.” And Mr. S. W. Thaxter writes from Portland, Maine, that Captain Judson “is in error in asserting that breastplates were not worn by cavalry soldiers in Banks' army in May, 1862. The writer found one which a soldier left in bivouac, and tested its quality as a protective device by fastening it to a tree and piercing it several times with carbine shots, much to the chagrin of the owner, who soon discovered his loss.” But the editor of the Nation caps the climax in disposing of Captain Judson by the following note:
The case in regard to the breastplates seems closed. Mr. Henry C. Wayne, formerly in charge of the Bureau of Clothing, Equipage and Equipment of the Quartermaster-General's Office, United States army, writes to the Savannah Morning News, of July 19, that they were introduced into the army shortly before the rebellion, by General McDowell, “for the protection of our officers and men in Indian fighting against lances, arrows and armes blanches generally.” He had borrowed the idea from the French Cuirassicrs, during a trip to Europe for purposes of inspection.--Ed. Nation.We may add that our Southern papers have teemed with proofs that the aforesaid breastplates were frequently worn by Federal soldiers during the war, and if any one is still skeptical, if he will call at the office of the Southern Historical Society we will take him across the hall to our Virginia State Library and show him several beautiful specimens of these “protective devices,” which were taken from the persons of Federal soldiers and have been preserved as war relics.
General J. R. Chalmers' address on “Forrest and his campaigns” will be published in our next issue, and will be found a most valuable contribution to the history of the war in the West.