and 10 sailors were captured by our pickets, together with the negroes, whom the enemy had taken. The captain of the vessel was also rescued. I think they should be placed at the disposal of the British consul.
They certainly were endeavoring to help us. I have therefore sent them over to Charleston, where there may be a chance for them to return to Nassan.
W. H. C. WHITING,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF SOUTH CAROLINA AND GEORGIA,
Charleston, S. C., November 20, 1862.
Cannot Messrs. John Fraser & Co. find employment for these negroes on their steamers?
Chief of Staff.
Richmond, Va., November 19, 1862.
Major General S. G. FRENCH,
Commanding, &c., Petersburg, Va.:
GENERAL: Your letter of this date has been received. I have sent you to-day a battery of two 30-pounder Parrott guns, fully furnished with horses and men. They will arrive to-morrow.
Respectfully and truly, yours,
G. W. SMITH,
Wilmington, N. C., November 20, 1862.
Major General GUSTAVUS W. SMITH,
[Acting] Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: I have been informed that at least a week since you directed five regiments to be sent here, including the two (Radcliffe's and Cantwell's) formerly here; but one (Cantwell['s) has arrived; the others are said to be retained by order of Major-General French. Time is pressing. I cannot more clearly explain the necessity for troops that I have done to the late Secretary, nor can I diminish the estimate I conceive the necessity of the case requires, viz, 10,000 infantry and six batteries. My information from New Berne and from the examination of prisoners leads to the belief that the enemy, fully aware of the defenseless state of Wilmington against a land attack, intends a speedy movement, knowing that on account of the force we shall be found unprepared. Against a naval attack I am not so apprehensive, but it is now easily in their power to neutralize all our sea-coast and river defenses. A small detachment can but prove a bait and must necessarily be sacrificed. It would be better, if troops are not to be or cannot be sent, to do without rather than lose the few here and the place too, as must inevitably be the case should the attack be made by the land approach; for the garrison of Wilmington in that event there is no retreat. I earnestly hope, if it is intended that this important point be held, that dispatch will be