War of the Rebellion: Serial 099 Page 1138 OPERATIONS IN N. C., S. C., S. GA., AND E. FLA. Chapter LIX.

Search Civil War Official Records

in this department. This has been owing in part to mismanagement and want of attention, but to a great extent it has been unavoidable from the nature of work, the means available, and the want of regulations in regard to supplies.

First. The work to be done, which has to a great extent been shared by our white soldieers during the war, was of such a character as necessarily to subject the laborers to much exposure, even if comfortably clothed. The revetment of works at the mouth of Cape Fear River being mostly of sod and very heavy, and the sod to be dug from the marsh, made it necessary for many of the negroes to work a good deal in the water, and so in rafting timber and lumber, and water transportation.

Second. From the insufficient quantity of food, soldiers' rations, onequarter of a pound of meat and three-quarters of a pound of meal, is altogether insufficient for a laboring man employed all day in heavy work.

Third. From want of comfortable clothing. Most of the negroes were sent by their owners very badly clad, and little was done by those in charge of the slaves to remedy this evil. No provision was made by the War Department for clothing enrolled negroes until the publication of General Orders, Numbers 86, March 11, 1864, paragraph I, provides that negroes shall receive rations, clothing, and compensation at the rate of $11 per month, under such rules and regulations as the Secretary of War may establish. Paragraph IV adopts the regulations of General Orders, Numbers 138, October 24, 1863. The last order in paragraph VII fixes the ration, compensation, &c., but makes no provision for clothing, and no regulation on this point was adopted until December 5, 1864.

Fourth. They have suffered for want of proper hospital accommodations, and at Fort Fisher for want of proper quarters and fuel. the evils pointed out have been remedied as far as practicable. Sufficient hospital accommodations are being prepared and proper medical attendance secured, and every effort will be made to provide for the comfort of the enrolled slaves consistently with the limited means in hand.

Many small abuses become known to owners and others which it is impossible for a commander to learn except through them. If they would make their complaints circumstantially, prompt investigation would be ordered and every remedy applied. Regular inspections, reports, and returns will be made of this laboring force in future, and they will be cared for as other troops.

Very respectfully, sir,

BRAXTON BRAGG.

WILMINGTON, February 9, 1865.

Colonel JOHN B. SALE, Richmong:

Start to-morrow. Wait for me.

BRAXTON BRAGG.

WILMINGTON, February 9, 1865.

General R. E. LEE, Petersburg:

I will start to-morrow.

BRAXTON BRAGG.