From the Richmond Dispatch, 8/14/1862, p. 1, c. 6

James River & Kanawha Canal. We learn that the canal from Richmond to Judith dam, five miles above Lynchburg, is in good order, admitting boats with full loads, (say 70 tons.) From Judith dam to Buchanan sand bars have formed at the mouth of some of the outlet locks, preventing the passage of boats with full loads. The packets, however, run the whole distance without interruption. A number of the hands belonging to the regular squads of the company have lately absconded, and it is found extremely difficult to supply their place. About fifty convicts now employed at the Clover Dale Furnace will probably soon be transferred to some point on the line requiring the largest force, where they may be worked to advantage. In view of the importance of keeping up uninterrupted communication on the canal, it would seem good policy for the Government to direct the forcible arrest and transfer of all able-bodied negro men in and near the enemy's lines, to be employed on the public works of the State, or even in private enterprises having public importance, for the reason, first, that it would accomplish important objects to the army and community; second, save the property to the owners; third, prevent them falling into the hands of the enemy and being an aid and comfort to them. There is a great scarcity of boats on the canal, hardly enough with pushing to do the work at present required of them. How this state of things is to be altered, unless some enterprising individual goes into the business of boat building, it would be difficult to tell.





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