Official Records, Series IV, Vol. 3, p. 1194

RICHMOND, VA., April 2, 1865

Lieut. S. R. SHINN:

           DEAR SHINN: I have delayed writing in order to be able to give you some definite information on the negro question. The Secretary of War day before yesterday directed that the authority asked for be given Colonel Otey, and I telegraphed you to that effect. I have no doubt the orders have reached him by this time. Go to work and work, work, work. If the people of Virginia only knew and appreciated General Lee’s solicitude on this subject they would not longer hold back their slaves. Their wives and daughters and the negroes are the only elements left us to recruit from, and it does seem that our people would rather send the former even to face death and danger than give up the latter.

Major Carrington has been appointed superintendent for the State of Virginia and a good one he will make. I shall do something myself with a view to raising a command. I may be so situated as to need your services and to advance your interests. If so, you shall hear from me.*

Let me hear from you at once.
Yours, truly,

*some strictly personal matter here omitted.

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