War of the Rebellion: Serial 089 Page 1344 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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WILMINGTON, December 29, 1864.

Honorable SECRETARY OF WAR,

Richmond:

All practicable means are being used to save cargo and machinery of steamer Fry, and the operation is quietly going on, but the vessel is a loss.

BRAXTON BRAGG.

WILMINGTON, December 29, 1864 - 9 a. m.

Lieutenant Colonel W. H. TAYLOR,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Petersburg, Va.:

The fleet has entirely disappeared, the ordinary blockading vessels only remaining in sight this morning. The works thrown up by the enemy and other indications where he landed show there was at least a division on shore, and the movement a real one. With the continued protection of Providence, our gallant troops feel confident of their ability to foil his efforts at any other point here.

BRAXTON BRAGG.

(Copy sent the President.)

WILMINGTON, December 29, 1864.

General R. E. LEE,

Petersburg:

The fleet disappeared during last evening and night, moving easterly. We could not infer their intentions or direction from any movement made, nor can we gain the slightest information from prisoners, except that the land force was the Twenty-fourth Corps, late the Tenth and Eighteenth. Am I authorized to re-enforce General Beauregard in case they appear at Charleston?

BRAXTON BRAGG.

WILMINGTON, December 29, 1864.

Colonel JOHN B. SALE,

Richmond, Va.:

The enemy's first attempt having been foiled, we shall be much better prepared for him in any future effort near this point. Our deliverance, however, has been providential and I shall soon ask the attention of the Government to the insufficiency and the incapacity of the Greensborough and Danville Railroad. The criminal delays there detaining some troops sixty hours on some forty-eight miles of road admit of no explanation or excuse. No army can be supported and no cause sustained where such imbecility obtains.

BRAXTON BRAGG.

(Copy to President Davis.)