additional calls on the salve force of the country, so much needed in the agricultural operations of the apporaching season, I respectfully suggest that a requisition, suitably approtioned, be made on the freenegro population of the counties and corporations not heretofore called on. A requisition of this kind is authorized by an act of the Virginia Legislature, passed Febraury 12, 1863, "to amed and re-enact and ordinance to provide for the enrollment and employment of free negroes in the publict service, passed by the convention July 1, 1861". In accordance with the second section of this act, which directs "that upon the requisition of the commanding officer of any post or department of the State or Confederate forces for labor in erecting batteries, intrenchments, or other necessities of the military service, addressed to the presiding justice of any county, or mayor or senior alderman of any corporation as aforesaid proceed forthwith", &c. I inclose for your signature drefts of requisitions* on twenty-four counties and corporations for tree-negro labor. The act prscribes that pay and term of service. Should these papers meet your approval you are respectfully requested to sign them, and if returned to this bureau they will be issued to the respectiv presidings justices and mayors.
I have the honor to be, &c.,
J. F. GILMER,
Colonela of Engineers and Chief of Bureau.
Proposed requisition for free negroes.
Counties and Number. Counties and Number.
Bath 9 King William 20
Brunswick 58 Lousia 22
Charles City 100 Madison 7
Charlotte 23 Nelson 9
Chesterfield 59 New Kent 20
Dinwiddie 54 Nottoway 13
Essex 50 Petersburg 100
Fluvanna 31 Powhatan 63
Goochland 62 Prince Edward 52
Greenesville 12 Prince George 50
Hanover 10 Southampton 142
King and Quenn 40 Total 1,029
RICHMOND, VA., March 10, 1863.
General R. E. LEE,
When convenient and practicable, I wish to see you.
RICHMOND, VA., March 11, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to call upon Your Excellency, in accordance with and act passed by the Legislature of Virginia October 3, 1862, for 2,832 negroes to labor for sixty days on the fortifications in this State. A letter from the Secretary of War+, transmitting a communication
+ Letter of Secretary of War not found.