my again asking your attention to this subject and soliciting a reconsideration of your decision? I am assured that every effort has been made and that rates exceeding in liberality current prices for hire have been freely offered without success in obtaining the required labor. Some impression has prevailed that slaves employed in this locality had peculiar facilities of escaping, and hence the unwillingness of their owners in the eastern counties to hire them to the contractors; besides, there is a general disinclination to hire servants, to be employed on works of this character, where large numbers are assembled.
Serious delay must therefore occur unless the authority of your State can be exercised to provide an adequate number of slave laborers for the work. In consequence, it is respectfully submitted to you to determine whether the importance of this work does not justify, if it does not require, such exercise of your authority. Full hires shall be paid, and every care possible shall be taken to provide for the comfort and safety of the slaves.
In connection with the same subject allow me to ask your attention to a petition which I understand has been presented to you Legislature, seeking such change in the character of incorporation for the connecting road as will allow conformity of gauge throughout and prevent the necessity of a break at Danville. The importance of this, in view of the usefulness of the road for military operations, needs to comment; but, in reference to the future advantages of the road to your State interests, I may be permitted to suggest that a break at Danville could only operate injuriously, as it would tend to make that place more decidedly a depot and a place of transfer. All considerations seem to recommend the proposed change of charter, and it would be gratifying to this Department if you concur in this view and lend your potent influence to induce the amendment.
With great esteem, very respectfully, yours,
JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
RICHMOND, VA., February 5, 1863.
Colonel A. C. MYERS,
Quartermaster-General, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: The inclosed slip, cut from a morning paper, is sent to you for your attention. If the abuse described exists, it should be promptly corrected and the offender held to a due responsibility. If the statement be incorrect, it is due to yourself and the service that the misstatement should be exposed.
[Slip from Examiner.]
Plenty of clothing for the troops.
It will be seen from the report of the Quartermaster-General, sent to the Confederate Senate by the President in reply to certain resolutions recently adopted by that body, that officers of the Army are allowed fabrics from the Government Clothing Bureau when the stock is in excess of the wants of the private soldier in the field. We take