Seventh Georgia Cavalry to Gary's brigade, and the Phillips Legion, Georgia cavalry, to Young's brigade. The commands will report accordingly promptly.
* * * * * * *
By command of the Secretary of War:
JOHN W. RIELY,
CONFIDENTIAL.] WILMINGTON, October 25, 1864.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
President, Richmond, Va.:
Mr. PRESIDENT: Presuming you desire to know the condition of affairs here as soon as possible, I take that liberty of inclosing you a copy of report to General Lee of this date. This only deals in generalities. I found General Whiting much worries and disconcerted, and, believing that his abilities and experience could be made valuable, deem it prudent to so shape my order assuming command as to wound his pride as little as possible, at the same time that I took the entire control. Accordingly, he is left "as second in command,in discharge of his former functions of administration and detail." It seemed to be a relief and I hope and believe our service will be pleasant and harmonious. His appearance does not indicated in the succeess of his labors here. Attaches too much importance, probably, to reports and rumors no well grounded,and is too apt to allow his excitement to lead to indiscreet advice to the people. In this way he has, to some extent, lost their confidence. For instance, the day of my arrival the press advised the removal of the people. This was entirely unnecessary and therefore imprudent, as we can remove the whole population easily after the enemy shall have made his appearance, should this be the point assailed. Several matters have attracted my attention which will be presented to you when I have more time, but there is one which is pressing now. The State has detailed some 200 or 300 able bodied conscripts engaged in making salt at the Sound, near here a work as easily done by negroes. These men would all be in General Lee's army, and it is specially important they should be away from here. They are all from a disloyal part of the State, and are very strongly suspected of keeping up intercourse with the enemy. No time will be more propitious than the present for removing them under recent orders. The commandant of conscripts, I learn, declines to act, and has referred the matter to the War Department.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS THIRD MILITARY DISTRICT, DEPT. OF NORTH CAROLINA AND SOUTHERN VIRGINIA, Wilmington, N. C., October 25, 1864.
General R. E. LEE,
GENERAL: After a hasty inspection of all the defensive works for the protection of this harbor, it gives me pleasure to report favorably of