the South Side Railroad, this weather may delay it; but I should be glad to have Grimes' division kept in readiness to join me should the commanding general think proper to have him report to me in case of a battle.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, &c.,
J. B. GORDON,
FEBRUARY 15, 1865.
A movement of trains (loaded with troops) to the enemy's left was reported this evening. You had better keep your division prepared to move; though it may not be necessary, it is advisable to be ready.
W. H. TAYLOR,
HEADQUARTERS JOHNSON'S DIVISION,
February 15, 1865.
Major R. P. DUNCAN,
MAJOR: Captain Grigg, Fifty-Sixth Regiment, brigade officer of the day, reports that he saw four trains passing toward our right with troops yesterday, and that men on parapets state that six of such trains passed. Fifteen deserters are reported by division officer of the day, Colonel Love, as having left Ransom's brigade last night. All but four appear to have gone home. The division officer of the day reports a strong picket force on the enemy's line in front of the Crater yesterday. One man from the Fifty-ninth Virginia deserted last night. Casualties, one man slightly wounded, Ransom's brigade.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
B. R. JOHNSON,
HEADQUARTERS FIRST ARMY CORPS,
February 16, 1865.
Major General J. B. KERSHAW,
It is deemed desirable, and a request is made through General Lee, that the several corps of this army give an expression of opinion on the subject of putting negroes, who for the boon of freedom would volunteer as soldiers, into the field. The effect of such a measure on this army is doubted, and consequently the matter is submitted to your discretion for obtaining the sense of your division on the subject. It may not be amiss to say that the opinion of the lieutenant-general commanding is that the adoption of such a measure will involve the necessity of abolishing slavery entirely in the future, and that, too, without materially aiding us in the present.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
(Same to Generals G. E. Pickett and H. L. Benning.)