The guard for the prisons, as Colonel Henry's command now stands, is insufficient, as set forth in the reports of Colonels Withers and Smith. The men are on guard every other night, and men are called for for guard duty from the detailed men of the several departments of the Government. This call upon the detailed men for such purposes interferes very materially with the interests of the service, and should be avoided if practicable. There is one company of Colonel Henry's regiment stationed at Mattoax Bridge on the line of railroad, and if their place could be supplied by other troops it would assist very materially in enlarging the guard, and the detailed men could be dispensed with. There are a large number of men in this Reserve regiment which in my opinion should be in the Army, but I understand that the enrolling officer is attentive to his duties and executes them promptly. However that may be, I am satisfied that a rigid examination would furnish for the field a large number of able-bodied men over the age of eighteen who could be made fiend soldiers.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. S. CUNNINHAM,
Lieutenant-Colonel of Artillery and Inspecting Officer.
HEADQUARTERS JOHNSON'S DIVISION,
January 27, 1865.
MAJOR: There is nothing of importance to report this morning. Deserters state that the main body of the enemy's troops in my front are drawn back from front line and are encamped in rear of the forts, which are mainly occupied by artillery; that the pickets do not load their guns when they go on duty, and that they sleep on picket-line and do duty negligently. They fire but little. I desire to call attention to the fact that our teams are being rapidly broken down by overwork and from scarcity and character of forage. A number of mules have died, and the loss by death must increase if some relief is not applied. With increasing necessities for supplies of fuel, &c., our means of transportation are being diminished and suffering must ensue. I would respectfully ask that an inspector from army headquarters may inspect and report on condition of our stock. I would also ask that measures be taken to provide more transportation by railroad. Our quartermasters report forage collected, but that they are unable to get railroad transportation to bring it to Petersburg. Some extraordinary efforts should be made to have this forage brought in. I would respectfully suggest that if there were turned over to us from other divisions of the army, say for six weeks, as many as fifteen teams, those in this division in low order might be sent to the rear to recuperate, and we would at the same time be enabled to push forward the work upon the line with greater rapidity, which has progressed slowly for the want of transportation.
Most respectfully, &c.,
B. R. JOHNSON,