WAR DEPARTMENT, September 13, 1863.
The enemy are reported as making a serious raid toward Wytheville. Send thither whatever local force you can command at once.
J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
HDQRS. DEPT. SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, AND FLORIDA,
Charleston, S. C., September 13, 1863.
Colonel W. H. STEVENS,
Engineer in Charge, Richmond, Va.:
COLONEL: I will ask you to give special duty to the question of a second obstruction in James River. If one could be located even as high as Warwick Bar, just below the pontoon bridge, we would have a river defense but slightly salient from our best line, the intermediate around the city. The bottom at Warwick Bar is good for driving piles-depth of water only 13 feet and the work partially done. Possibly a pile structure may be planned that would be formidable, when commanded by three or four 10-inch columbiads, mounted in good chambers on the point where preparations were commenced some time ago. Four good columbiad chambers and platforms might be constructed, with the hope of getting the guns after some time. The length of infantry line from the intermediate line of defense to embrace this battery will be much shorter, of course, than the one stretching on Chaffin's Bluff.
With your increase of negro force you may find it judicious to build the batteries referred to and establish a good pile obstruction. Cribs filled with stone, I fear, will take too long to construct as well as too much labor. Please give to subject your earliest and most careful study.
Your obedient servant,
J. F. GILMER,
Major-General, and Chief of Engineer Bureau.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
September 14, 1863.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
President Confederate States:
Mr. PRESIDENT: The guns of three battalions of artillery have been called for, to go with General Longstreet, and have been forwarded to Richmond with that object. I think before they go it should be fully ascertained whether they can obtain horses for them in that region. If this cannot be done it would be worse than useless to carry them, as they would not only undergo the wear and tear and damage of transportation, but we might possibly lose them.*
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I have been informed that the New York Herald, of the 9th instant, contained the movement of Longstreet's corps in the order in
*For portion here omitted, see Part I, p.134.