AJDT. AND INSP. General 'S OFFICE,
Richmond, January 22, 1862.
* * * * *
By command of the Secretary of War:
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
Goldsborough, January 24, 1862.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that a storm of great violence has been prevailing upon our coast since early on the night of the 22nd instant; it has doubtless damaged the enemy at Hatteras, and it may be will derange his plans for some days.
As there can be no doubt but that the Burnside expedition is intended to operate in our sounds, it becomes a matter of vital importance to us to consider the means in our power to resist his advance upon the main-lands, and if the force now in the State is insufficient, to try to provide for the deficiency and that speedily.
The principal points in my department accessible from the sound are New Berne, Washington, and Hyde County.
New Berne being the most important, I have concentrated in that neighborhood all the available force at my disposal, save a new regiment held in reserve at this point. In consequence of the great amount of sickness prevailing principally among the new regiments, that force does not exceed 4,000 effective men.
For the defense of Hyde County the effective force does not exceed 700 men, and for the defense of Washington 1,200 men. The militia called into service are not taken into consideration, as I have no reports of the number that may be expected from the adjacent counties.
Satisfied that the expedition is of such a magnitude that to resist it successfully we ought to have a large increase to our present force, I am constrained to renew my application of the 3rd instant, viz, that a large reserve, with an experienced commander, be at once sent to this point and placed at my disposal.
Hoping that the War Department will take speedy action in the matter, I remain, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. C. GATLIN,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF THE CAPE FEAR,
Wilmington, N. C., January 24, 1862.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of War, Richmond:
SIR: I have the honor to inclose extracts from the report of Captain Ward, in command of the Coast Guard in the Northwestern part of this district.