General Lee's order.
headquarters army of Northern Virginia, January 22, 1864.the Commanding General considers it due to  the army to state that the temporary reduction of rations has been caused by circumstances beyond the control of those charged with its support. Its welfare and comfort are the objects of his constant and earnest solicitude, and no effort has been spared to provide for its wants. It is hoped that the exertions now being made will render the necessity but of short duration; but the history of the army has shown that the country can require no sacrifice too great for its patriotic devotion. Soldiers! you tread, with no unequal steps, the road by which your fathers marched through suffering, privation, and blood to independence. Continue to emulate in the future, as you have in the past, their valor in arms, their patient endurance of hardships, their high resolve to be free — which no trial could shake, no bribe seduce, no danger appall — and be assured that the just God who crowned their efforts with success, will, in his own good time, send down his blessings upon yours.
R. E. Lee, General.