War of the Rebellion: Serial 088 Page 1287 Chapter LIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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so that in time we may recruit our remaining 350 "effective men" too a respectable brigade and prepare ourselves to enter anew the lists in the struggle for independence.

JOHN M. HUGHS,

Colonel, Commanding Brigade.

[Twelfth indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS JOHNSON'S DIVISION,

September 23, 1864.

Respectfully forwarded.

The sentiments of the brigade are sufficiently indicated in the indorsements. My impression is that combination of the brigades proposed would not be beneficial to the service.

B. R. JOHNSON,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS JOHNSON'S DIVISION,

Petersburg, Va., September 24, 1864.

Colonel G. W. BRENT,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

SIR: I would respectfully recommend the following improvement in the line of defense now occupied by my command. The connection of the line of rifle-pits from pickets in front of Wise's brigade, extending from the river to the right, with abatis ten paces in front, the line of rifle-pits will thus be made continuous. They should be sloped to the rear, so as to be fired into from main parapet, if ever carried by the enemy, and the earth thrown up in front should be sloped to the natural surface like a glacis. My troops are ready to commence the work and continue it while they occupy the main line. The enemy are working constantly in front of this part of our lines, and are making strong fortifications. I would respectfully call attention to the fact that the mining on the City Point railroad is not being conducted with proper energy. The detail is but small, and does not work regularly. The relative position of our lines and those of the enemy is peculiar at this

point, and seems to call for special attention and skillful means of defense. The mortar fire on our line between the river and the City Point railroad is sometimes quite heavy, and there appears to be no arrangements for response by our mortars. Mortar batteries on the north side of the Appomattox would secure more safety to our men and perhaps often silence the enemy's fire. It appears that the enemy are strengthening their second line by a wide and deep ditch; it is also reported by deserters that they are building strong batteries in which they propose to mount heavy columbiads. This suggests the necessity of similar works on our line. At least a ditch of such strength as to be a real obstacle might be put in front of our second line, or even our front line. At least a ditch of such strength as to be a real obstacle might be put in front of our second line, or even our front line. In front of our 8-inch columbiad near the Norfolk railroad the enemy have three times battered down our infantry breast-works. It seems necessary to make this parapet some twenty feet thick, which can be done by running a ditch in front. In case it is thought proper to complete the second line to the river it will be necessary that the troops in reserve should do the work.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

B. R. JOHNSON,

Major-General.