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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 42, Part 3 (Richmond-Fort Fisher)
Page 1160 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

propose to put these men in the trenches, and to hold the line from the creek to the ravine in Cousins' field, about one mile. I hope that you may be able to keep some troops on the line so as to unite with me at this point. I will use every effort to hold one mile of the line, but I do not see how I can possibly hold more. Of course, I will throw my whole available force on the line, if the Yankee cavalry does not need my attention. I cannot promise to keep more than 700 men constantly on the line, but these shall be promptly re-enforced. These men can occupy any position you think most advisable. I weaken all my lower posts to give you them.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,




Numbers 1.
October 22, 1864.

I. Under the instructions of the President I assume the immediate command over the troops na defenses of Wilmington and its approaches.

II. Major-General Whiting will continue as second in command, to exercise all of his former functions of administration and detail.



WILMINGTON, October 22, 1864.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS, President:

Assumed command this morning. There is no information beyond what you have already. If the apprehended attack is made here a few veteran troops will be necessary, and I should be authorized to assemble all the means within the State and to call on General Hardee for any assistance he can render me. Fever has not been epidemic and seems to have disappeared.


(Copy sent to General Lee by the direction of the President.)

WILMINGTON, October 22, 1864.


The naval expedition should not sail until the question of the attack here is decided. Its presence in the harbor may become of vital importance; its operations at sea can be but secondary at best.


(Copy sent Secretary of the Navy.)

October 23, 1864.

Major CHESTNEY, Assistant Adjutant-General:

MAJOR: The guard furnished from the Nineteenth Virginia Militia proves to be unfit for the duty of guarding prisoners. They exhibit a want of discipline and an insubordination which demonstrates that they cannot be safely depended on for the security of the prisoners. The crime of desertion to the enemy and the lesser crimes of abandon-

Page 1160 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 42, Part 3 (Richmond-Fort Fisher)
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