proficiency. I would here state that I found Major Hill in command at Pork Point Battery. He was an old Army officer, and is no doubt a better artillerist than I am; and, as I did not desire to supersede alk superior and could not suppose that you wished it, I placed myself under his command, and offered my services to him to assist in instructing his men, and detailed Mr. Loyall for that particular duty. None of the guns have locks, nor are nay of them drilled for either locks or sights; but this could be very easily done here if locks and sights what guns, and there is no shot furnace fit for use. The engineer officer assures me that the furnace at Fort Huger (the only one constructed) is worthless, and that he tried it for five hours without any other effect than to burst it. He recommends one for each battery here, after the pattern of Mr. Singleton's, of the engineer's office at Norfolk. The amount of ammunition on hand is not more than twenty rounds for each gun.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN S. TAYLOR,
Captain, C. S. Army.
Commanding Department of Norfolk, Va.
RICHMOND, January 16, 1862.
General GATLIN, Goldsborough, N. C.:
Huger telegraphs nine transports, with troops aboard, headed for the capes this morning.
Adjutant and Inspector General.
GOLDSBOROUGH, January 20, 1862.
General L. O'B, BRANCH, New Berne:
MY DEAR GENERAL: I would come down to-night, but I hardly think they would dare to leave Roanoke Island in their rear; so in my opinion you can proceed with deliberation, though zealously, in your defenses.
I am fearful that our northeastern counties are lost. It is said to think how obstinate the authorities at Richmond have been in regard to the destination of the fleet.
R. C. GATLIN.
RICHMOND, January 21, 1862.
Major General B. HUGER, Norfolk:
The President would approve of your taking or sending from Norfolk into North Carolina all the forces you can spare without endangering the safety of your command.
J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of War.