as a support. This has been urged and demonstrated in repeated memoirs on the subject. Indeed, no other system is practicable, and without it the position would be no more tenable than the Richmond defenses without the support of the army of General Lee.
I have felt this matter very deeply and given my most constant efforts to make the most of my means. I have refrained of late from addressing most urgent appeals to the Department, because General Lee deprecated my doing so, lest my opinion, getting abroad, might tend to discouragement. You tell me to scrutinize closely the composition of the forces holding the forts and the character and qualities of the officers, and to make sure that I have in both material thoroughly reliable. As I have said, these troops have not been in battle. I can only add they are at present unsupported. I believe they will do well; but you know what is acceded. Colonel Lamb, the commandant of Fort Fisher, is a most excellent and vigilant officer, full of skill and courage. I have every confidence in him. Is there not some mistake as to the identity of the officer of whom you speak in your letter? You give the initials as E. W. The officer here is T. M., in whom I have entire confidence. As for the Senior and Junior Reserves I think they would rather interfere with than aid. The little boys are prostrate with all the diseases of children and too weak to bear arms. Their officers, made by election are entirely ignorant. These are the facts, and to you I see no use in disguising them. It may well be imagined that personally I shall leave no effort untried, knowing that if I lose this place, whether with troops or without them, I myself am lost. The matter of the quarantine is important, and I will endeavor to carry out your wishes and procure some relaxation of the regulations, as I have labored to do heretofore. The fever is represented, however, as very bad in Bermuda and Nassau, and the very name of it is terrible to this community. As the question of the defense of Wilmington may shortly become interesting, I beg to refer to my correspondence on this subject, both as to the mode of attack, probable lines and disposition, and of forces required.
W. H. C. WHITING,
ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Richmond, September 9, 1864.
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L. Paragraph XXXVII, Special Orders, Numbers 206, current series, is amended so as to read: Major I. H. Carrington, provost-marshal of Richmond, Va., will take charge of all deserters from the enemy, under General Orders, Numbers 65, Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, current series, and will forward such of them as he may designate, or such as may desire to go, to Abingdon, Va., thence to be sent to Kentucky and Ohio.
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By command of the Secretary of War.