HEADQUARTERS SECOND CORPS,
February 18, 1865.
Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of Northern Virginia:
COLONEL: I have the honor to report that the officers and men of this corps are decidedly in favor of the voluntary enlistment of the negroes as soldiers. But few have been found to oppose it. The aversion to the measure has in no instance been found strong. The opposition to it is now confined to a very few, and I am satisfied will soon cease to exist in any regiment of the corps. I respectfully suggest that these reports be immediately forwarded to the authorities at Richmond.
J. B. GORDON,
Major-General, Commanding Corps.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
February 20, 1865.
Respectfully forwarded for the information of the Department.
For General R. E. Lee:
W. H. TAYLOR,
[Second indorsement.] ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE, February 24, 1865.
Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War.
H. L. CLAY,
BUREAU OF SUBSISTENCE,
Richmond, February 24, 1865.
His Excellency Z. B. VANCE,
Governor of North Carolina:
SIR: Your Excellency is doubtless duly apprised of the difficulties which have attended the administration of the Subsistence Department, and will readily apprehend how very seriously they have been increased in consequence of the recent movements of the enemy in South Carolina and the loss of our only available port of entry. The area from which supplies can be drawn is now so reduced that, upon undertaking the responsible duties of this office I am forced to recongnize the necessity of adding to the regular agencies for obtaining subsistence for the army such auxiliary measures, even of an unusual character, as may promise any increase to the supplies of this Department. The presisng demands of the troops must be met by the exertion of every energy, and so promptly, that no opportunity is afforded to reform the machinery of the Department or seek to remove the probable causes of its want of sucess in the past. It is forced therefore, by existing emergency, in addition to the regular purchases of its officers and agents in Virginia and North Carolina, to appel to the people of these STates for such voluntary assistance, by the sale or loan of their reserve supplies, as they may be induced to afford. In presenting the necessities of the service and appealing to the patriotism of North Carolina, Your Excellency's aid will be invaluable, and this bureau will be fortunate if it shall receive the benefit of your advise and suggestions as to the