War of the Rebellion: Serial 089 Page 1146 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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recruit. As the lines are held at present, they are not only very insecure, but very irregular, and onerous duty is thrown on my command. Frequently several brigades of infantry are withdrawn suddenly from the right, thus leaving a gap which it is impossible for me to fill, except by a line it could be easily discharged, but as we have to picket a long line and to watch the cavalry of the enemy we can only occupy the works temporarily. If any assault is made on our right, I fell satisfied that it will be made at or near Dabney's house. I think that strong works should be erected there, and that a force of infantry should be kept there permanently. I have made a line from the right, of the infantry works to Hatcher's Run, in front of and below Cousins' house, and I can hold the line form Dyson's house near Dabeny's to the creek. If the two regiments sent for are placed on my left from Dyson's, they can fill a very important position on our lines and close a dangerous gap. My line of pickets would be in front of them, and my dismounted men should remain constantly in the works I have put up. The line would then be a continuous one to Hatcher's Run, covering all approaches to the plank road. This disposition of the regiments would enable me to put a strong guard at Stony Creek. It is impossible for me to put a brigade in close supporting distance to my works, because no water can be had in a suitable position-the only supply being too near the lines to render it safe to camp there. Dearing is now at Burgess' Mill, and all his dismounted men are on the lines, as well as a part of Butler's. If the line we have constructed can be held till supports come up, there will be no fear of the enemy's reaching the plank road.

I am, general, very respectfully, yours,




Wilmington, October 11, 1864.

Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War, Richmond:

SIR: I beg you will call the attention of the President to my several letters to yourself, the Secretary of the Navy, and to General Lee, also to General Beauregard's report on the subject of the expedition of the Tallahassee and the Chickamauga. Since those letters I have an additional and very urgent reason for protesting against this force leaving this post. By the Annie, which vessel we fortunately saved from destruction by the enemy three nights since, I learn from an English gentleman, who has been running the blockade here and who is just from New York, where he exerted himself to procure useful information-first, that ten steam launches were nearly completed when he left, expressly to stop and destroy inside the bars the blockade-runners; they are well armed and carry fifty men; they will be very dangerous in every way. A naval force afloat here is absolutely necessary at all times, much more with this prospect. Second, Farragut is preparing his expedition; of this there can be no doubt. Under these circumstances I most earnestly ask for this force to man batteries, for which I have no troops, and to aid as river guard. Every single vessel that has arrived during the present moon has most narrowly escaped; four have been wrecked, stopped, and run ashore on the bar directly under the guns of Fort Fisher; one of these was fired by the enemy; two are lying there