each position occupied must be carefully studied. The strength of profile to be given to the works along the land fronts will of course be governed by the same consideration. It is hoped that it will be found practicable to occupy a point on the Neuse at least as low as Kinston, on the Tar as low as Greenville, and on the Roanoke as low as Hamilton. This can only be determined upon, however, after making the examination intrusted to you. As to the Chowan River, it is probably at present so entirely under the control of the enemy as to prevent us from holding any point along its banks. In the progress of events this occupation may become practicable, in which case you will make the desired examination. In the selection of sites for batteries to command rivers high points should be preferred, and the open range of river below should not be greater than that of our own guns. As soon as you have decided upon the positions to be held and the general character of the works, namely, obstructions to be held and the general character of the works, namely, obstructions, batteries, forts, &c., you will report at once to this Bureau, sending such sketches, maps, and plans as will give a full understanding of your projects. At the same time you will make preparations for procuring all necessary materials and labor for construction, reporting the results at once to this office. Application will be made to the major-general commanding at Richmond for instructions to be given to the commanders in North Carolina to furnish troops, when needed, for protecting the operations now committed to your charge. At the earliest day practicable two assistants will be assigned to you, with the hope that by their aid you can press the defenses the more rapidly to a state of efficiency. You will please to proceed to North Carolina at once and enter upon the duties assigned you. You will notify this Bureau as early as possible as to the point at which the assistants shall be ordered to report to you. Prompt arrangements will be made for paying the necessary expenses.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. F. GILMER,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Chief of Engineer Bureau.
Richmond, Va., October 10, 1862.
Major General S. G. FRENCH,
Commanding Department of North Carolina, Petersburg, Va.:
GENERAL: The Secretary of War says that although we cannot form the Partisan Rangers into a brigade regularly there is no reason why the regiments of Colonel Claiborne, Colonel Ferebee, Colonel Griffin, and Colonel Evans should not all be required to report to Brigadier-General Robertson. He requests that this be done and that General Robertson be assigned to command the pickets and outposts of these regiments as well as the camp of instruction, and that the picket and outpost duty be performed by details, so that all may share instruction in camp. If General Robertson will request the adjutant and inspector general to assign an assistant adjutant-general or quartermaster and a commissary to his command it will be done, and his wishes I am sure will be complied with in regard to the particular officers he may designate for these places, If it is practicable to do so.
Very respectfully and truly, yours,
G. W. SMITH,