am sure you need not, that they can do more than this; and even this shall not be done if every possible precaution in our power can suffice to prevent it.
I am, your obedient servant,
J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of War.
P. S.-I was compelled by stress of occasion to send 1,000 flintlocks to your last two regiments, but will immediately replace them by better arms.
CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, NAVY DEPARTMENT,
Richmond, February 3, 1862.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:
SIR: In compliance with your indorsement upon the letter of Major J. A. Johnston, quartermaster, in relation to Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal, I have the honor to state that Mr. Parks has not yet submitted his bills for tolls against this Department, but from data from me I infer that since the North Carolina vessels were transferred these tolls amount to about $700 per month.
I know nothing of the condition of the canal or of the work necessary to keep it in order, but I regard it of vital importance to the defenses of North Carolina. I would suggest that a reliable officer be sent to examine the canal and to report the probable expense of maintaining it in navigable condition, which will have to be done by the Confederate States if the canal company and the State of North Carolina will not do it, and I think that the sooner the subject is acted upon the better.
I presume that with twenty-five gunboats in the waters of North Carolina the tolls would not exceed $2,000 per month, but I think that the work should be kept up without regard to this consideration. The papers are herewith returned.*
With much respect, your obedient servant,
S. R. MALLORY,
Secretary of the Navy.
Have copy made of this entire correspondence, to be forwarded to General Huger, with request that he will send a reliable to examine and report on the whole subject.
HDQRS. FOURTH BRIGADE, DEPARTMENT NORFOLK,
Camp at Nag's Head, February 7, 1862.
Major-General HUGER, Commanding, &c.:
SIR: I send you, by direction of General Wise, copies of the dispatch of Lieutenant Loyall to Colonel Shaw, with the colonel's note forwarding the same to these headquarters, and of the dispatch of Colonel