points of the Confederacy nearest their homes, or wherever they might elect to go. Should, however, any of them be skilled workmen and prefer remaining, they will be permitted to remain, and employed at fair wages. All arms, horses, and accouterments which they may bring to be purchased at liberal prices. I have the honor respectfully to recommend to the Government the adoption of a policy indicated in the above suggestions.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. T. BEAUREGARD,
ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE, July 21, 1864.
Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War.
H. L. CLAY,
JULY 23, 1864.
Respectfully submitted for the consideration of the President.
While it is very desirable to encourage these desertions, the deserters themselves are very unacceptable, and difficult to dispose of among our population. I cannot recommend giving such promise to them as General B.proposes.
J. A. SEDDON,
JULY 25, 1864.
SECRETARY OF WAR:
It is not proper to offer such terms, and in such manner, as is proposed. On the other hand we certainly should do nothing to restrain desertions from the enemy. Whatever can be done consistently to receive and employ deserters is both proper and politic; but there are many considerations not to be neglected in selecting positions for their employment.
HEADQUARTERS, Near Petersburg, July 19, 1864.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General:
General Baker telegraphs as follows:
The commandant of conscripts in North Carolina has orders to send all free negroes conscripted to Wilmington. I wish to have those from Halifax and Northampton sent to Weldon, where they are much needed for two or three weeks. The works there are too extensive for my forces, and I am constructing inner works.
Can his instructions be changed so that they can be sent to Weldon?
Can General Baker retain these negroes?
G. T. BEAUREGARD,