War of the Rebellion: Serial 088 Page 1228 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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Brigadier General JAMES DEARING.

7th Confederate, Colonel V. H. Taliaferro. 62nd Georgia, Colonel Joel R. Griffin.

4th North Carolina, Colonel Dennis D. Ferebee.

6th North Carolina, Colonel George N. Folk.

Graham's (Virginia) battery,

Captain Edward Graham.

Horse Artillery,



Neblett Artillery,

Colonel George H. Terrett.

Southside Artillery,

NOTE.-Two companies heavy artillery detached at Battery Dantzler, under Major Smith; three companies Marine Battalion detached by order of Secretary of Navy and ordered to Wilmington for secret service.



President of the Confederate States:

Mr. PRESIDENT: I beg leave to call your attention to the importance of immediate and vigorous measures to increase the strength of our armies, and to some suggestions as to the mode of doing it. The necessity is now great, and will soon be augmented by the results of the coming draft in the United States. As matters now stand we have no troops disposable to meet movements of the enemy or strike when opportunity presents, without taking them from the trenches and exposing some important point. The enemy's position enables him to move his troops to the right or left without our knowledge, until he has reached the point at which he aims, and we are then compelled to hurry our men to meet him, incurring the risk of being too late to check his progress and the additional risk of the advantage he may derive from their absence. This was fully illustrated in the late demonstration north of James River, which called troops from our lines here who, if present, might have prevented the occupation of the Weldon railroad. These rapid and distant movements also fatigue and exhaust our men, greatly impairing their efficiency in battle. It is not necessary, however, to enumerate all the reasons for recruiting our ranks. The necessity is as well known to Your Excellency as to myself and as much the object of your solicitude. The means of obtaining men for field duty, as far as I can see, are only three. A considerable number could be placed in the ranks by relieving all able-bodied white men employed as teamsters, cooks, mechanics, and laborers,

and supplying their places with negroes. I think measures should be taken at once to substitute negroes for white in every place in the army, or connected with it, where the former can be used. It seems to me that we must choose between employing negroes ourselves or having them employed against us. A thorough and vigorous inspection of the rolls of exempted and detailed men is, in my opinion, of immediate importance.

I think you will agree with me that no man should be excused from service for any reason not deemed sufficient to entitle one already in