War of the Rebellion: Serial 081 Page 0704 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LII.

Search Civil War Official Records

the work in rear of colquitt. I, however, conclude that it will be the best that the engineers lay off the works before I order the detail. Our men to the left of Pegram's battery-the pickets of the Twenty-sixth South Carolina Regiment-claim to have decidedly diminished the fire of the enemy's sharpshooters in front. The latter have proposed to our sharpshooters to discontinue the fire, which will of course not be done. I am anxious not only to make our line secure at this point, but to drive the enemy back, and shall be glad to have suggestions from engineers and others as to the best method of dislodging the enemy and keeping them back. General Elliott suggests that by having cannoneers protected by some device, the enemy's rifle-pits could be easily battered down by the Napoleon guns.

I would respectfully suggest that troops in reserve might be employed in constructing a second line within proper supporting distance of ours first main line. We should thus make our defenses not only really stronger, and be able to give prompt support to our front line, but we should give a sense of strength and security to our front line which would render it invincible; the enemy, too, would be intimidated by such a display of works.

Casualties.-Ransom's brigade: Wounded, 8 (3 of which mortally). Elliott's brigade: Killed, 3; wounded, 5 (severely.) Gracie's brigade: Wounded, 1 (severely). Total, killed, 3; wounded, 14. Aggregate, 17.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

B. R. JOHNSTON,

Major-General.

[JUNE, 1864.]

His excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,

President of the Confederate States:

The undersigned, under the authority of a resolution of the citizens of Northumberland County, unanimously adopted in public meeting, beg leave to state on their behalf that their situation has become one of extreme peril. Irritated by recent defeats and maddened by stupendous failures, the enemy have suddenly assumed toward us (an unarmed and defenseless people) an attitude of ferocious barbarity, and have just given us a foretaste of what we are to expect in the immediate future. Recently a force of negro troops, with a squad of cavalry, were landed about eight miles above Westmoreland Court-House. They very soon separated into detachments of sufficient number to pursue all the routes of travel down to the Neck, and occupying the roads they marched leisurely down, sweeping through the intermediate country and visiting almost every dwelling. They were evidently in search of no armed force, and expected to encounter none. Besides the enticing away of a large number of negroes, their immediate, or at least ostensible, purpose seemed to be to collect the horses and mules, cattle and sheep, and drive them on board of transports stationed at accessible points on the Rappahannock and tributaries of the Potomac River. But, in addition, the negroes, so far as we could see, were allowed unbounded license in pillage and waste, and in the indulgence of their brutal passions and appetites. Accordingly, a large number of horses and mules, cattle and sheep, have been driven off; hogs, wherever found, were killed in mere wantonness; carts, wagons, and other vehicles taken off, agricultural implements broken into pieces, or piled and burnt, large supplies of bacon collected and shipped houses searched and ransacked, ladies and gentlemen in many cases