War of the Rebellion: Serial 088 Page 1296 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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capable of my seniors who may be more acceptable to the people of Raleigh, &c., and to aid any such with my entire efforts, or to waive in favor of any junior who may be wished for. It's an ungrateful duty this, and no bed of roses, and the prospect not particularly cheerful ahead. But whether we fail or not it will not do for North Carolinians ho howl at either the Government or the general unless they come forward manfully with their muskets. Ask the Governor to show you my letter to him. This private to you. McRae wrote me a friendly letter; ask him to put his pen to work to push forward men and negroes as much as he can without compromising the place by too great publicity of our weakness.

Yours, truly,



RICHMOND, September 27, 1864.

General R. E. LEE, Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: The subject of your letter of yesterday's date has occupied the attention of the War Department recently and some important action has been had which will be seen in the recent general orders. The changes which have been made in the Enrolling Department will, it is hoped, improve that service and at the same time give to the armies in the field some able-bodied men heretofore employed in that duty. I do not, however, regard the administration of that branch of the service sufficiently vigorous and energetic, and fear we shall not realize any great result. Your suggestion for an increase of negro force both in your army and with General Whiting has been submitted to the War Department. A compliance with your request was urged and promised. It has been suggested that possibly some force could be raised by offering inducements to the enemy's prisoners in our hands. Many of them, especially in the foreign element, are reported as greatly dissatisfied at the course of their Government and some voluntary offers have been made to enlist in our service. From those whose terms of service have expired it is possible we may obtain recruits who will at least do us no harm and may add to our strength. The experiment will be tried.

I am, general, your obedient servant,


P. S.-We are at a loss for a proper general officer from Alabama (disabled) to command reserves and conduct enrolling service. Can you suggest one?

B. B.



Numbers 299.

Richmond, September 27, 1864.

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VII. During the temporary absence of Brigadier General W. C. Lee, Brigadier General W. M. Gardner will assume command of the brigade of Local Defense Troops.

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By command of the Secretary of War:


Assistant Adjutant-General.