the portion of Virginia south of James River and extending somewhat to the westward of Petersburg, was desirable, and it enabled the general in command to concentrate a large force in a shorter time than would be effected by a divided command; than it avoided the evils of a divided command, and that the department, being equally threatened by the enemy at Suffolk, should be united in its means of resistance; that General Pettigrew was ranked by brigadiers on duty in North Carolina, and could not be assigned to the command without removing a major-general and three brigadiers. They seem satisfied, but, as I informed them that I should consult you, I lay their letter before you.
G. W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War.
OCTOBER 1, 1862.
SECRETARY OF WAR:
The advantage of unity of action by the forces south of James River and north of Wilmington, its defenses inclusive, is so obvious as to require only to be stated. The headquarters of the commander must depend on the position and movements of the enemy. It was not to be expected that the necessities of that part of the district which is in North Carolina would be overlooked by the commander who had so long and zealously labored to defend the harbor of Wilmington and its railroad connections.
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A.,
Richmond, September 27, 1862.
Major General G. W. SMITH,
Commanding, &c., Richmond, Va.:
SIR: You will make a requisition, addressed to the presiding justices of the counties of Campbell, Amherst, Bedford, Rockbridge, and Botetourt, for such numbers of able-bodied male free negroes, between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five years, as the president and directors of the James River and Kanawah Company may deem proper and expedient, to be employed on the canal as one of the necessities of the military service. You will send the requisition to Colonel T. H. Ellis, president of the James River and Kanawha Canal Company.
GEO. W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War.
Richmond, September 28, 1862.
Brigadier General Henry A. WISE,
Commanding, &c., Penninsula:
GENERAL: Yours of the 21st is received. Be vigilant and careful. Don't bring on a doubtful contest. But I know you will bear in mind the whole condition of affairs and previous instructions. My object in writing at present is to say that the companies of the Thirteenth Virginia Cavalry, now with you, under Major Belsches, are much needed at Culpeper Court-House and beyond, with their regiment. As soon as you can possibly dispense with their services, order Major Belsches