The act provides for the conscription of free negroes before impressing the slaves, and I hope, with your aid and that of your militia organization, to obtain a sufficient number of free negroes and to get back those that have deserted. An enrolled corps of 1,200 to 1,500 free negroes, properly organized into companies according the regulations, entitled to furlough at proper times, fed, clothed, paid, &c., retained in service, would relieve the people of the State of all use of their slaves for the defense here. With my works so well advanced I can preserve their condition and provide all I want of new construction with such a force. If we can get it in the State, I will guarantee the exemption of the slave-labor, as far as we are concerned here. Please let me hear from you. I have written to Colonel Mallett.
W. H. C. WHITING,
ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 3.
Richmond, January 5, 1865.
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XXVII. Capt W. K. Martin, assistant adjutant-general, is assigned to duty with General Lomax's division of cavalry, to relieve Captain C. S. Morgan, assistant adjutant-general.
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XXXIV. The leave of absence heretofore granted Major R. W. Hunteer, assistant adjutant-general, Gordon's division, is extended during the session of the Virginia Legislature.
By command of the Secretary of War:
HEADQUARTERS JOHNSON'S DIVISION,
January 5, 1865.
Major R. P. DUNCAN,
MAJOR: Brigade commanders report all quiet in front of their respective brigades during past twenty-four hours. The following casualties are respectfully reported: Ransom's brigade, one wounded; Elliott's brigade, one wounded.
B. R. JOHNSON,
WILMINGTON, January 5, 1865.
Lieutenant Colonel W. H. TAYLOR,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Petersburg:
Reports deemed reliable represent the enemy's expeditions, reassembled at Beaufort after the discomfiture here, as having all sailed for the north, probably Hampton Roads.