[from our own Correspondent.]
Army of Northern Virginia, Jan. 13th, 1864.
The winter is rapidly passing away, unmarked by any events of striking interest in the lines of either army.
Spring will soon be upon us, and it behooves Congress to act, and to act promptly, if they would have our Generals
prepared for the herculean efforts of the enemy during the coming spring
Since my last letter there have been a few suggestions made to me by officers of the army, which I will repeat.
It is submitted that the pioneer corps of the army, requiring as it does about one regiment of good fighting men in each division, might be very properly made up of negroes.
Again, it is suggested that, inasmuch as the regiments are now so much reduced, and of consequence the brigades, regimental quartermasters could be very properly dispensed with.
This has been done in the case of regimental commissaries, and has been found to work admirably.
I would repeat the suggestion made in regard to filling the places of teamsters with colored men, and I would urge Congress to pass some legislation that will be effectual in bringing back absentees and the detailed men. If these things are done, and done promptly, the spring campaign can be opened under auspices that will tell most favoraby for the success of our cause, provided the present organization of the forces be not disturbed.
If they are a Pandoras box of evils will be opened, and it will not be in human prophecy to predict the mischief that will flow from such a proceeding.
Congress ought, imposing on Exception bill, see to it that such exempted classes as tanners and shoemakers are not allowed to reap a harvest of money from the wants and accessories of the times; but it ought to so legislate that these men should be exempted for the good of the public.