War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0782 NORTH CAROLINA AND S. E. VIRGINIA. Chapter XXX.

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used in providing a sufficient number of troops. You are doubtless aware that within a few hours of the landing of the enemy at Topsail Inlet (should he attack by land) communication with any point north of this will be cut off entirely by his destroying the railroad bridge on the northeast, not far from abreast of his landing, and I cannot hope for any aid from south of his. I have only then to assure you that after his demonstration commences and attack here is indicated it will, unless providentially otherwise ordered, be too late to re-enforce.

Very respectfully,

W. H. C. WHITING,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

[Indorsements.]

Referred to General Smith.

J. A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War.

RICHMOND, VA., November 26, 1862.

Respectfully forwarded with suggestion that the Governor of North Carolina be requested to furnish all the aid that he can to General Whiting, at Wilmington, and that the substance of this letter be laid before General Lee for his consideration and such action on his part as the exigency demands, so far as it may be in his power to furnish assistance. There are no available troops for such a purpose in and about this city, and there are too few in North Carolina to successfully resist a determined attack in force upon any one of its many important points within easy reach of the enemy. I send a copy of this letter and indorsement to General Lee.

G. W. SMITH,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS,

Wilmington, N. C., November 21, 1862.

Major General GUSTAVUS W. SMITH,

[Acting] Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL: In the event of the general movements of the enemy in the winter's campaign bringing about a concentration of the Army of the Potomac near to Richmond and the transfer of a portion of the troops to North Carolina, I respectfully apply for the brigade of General Pender's North Carolina Troops and that of General Law, now consisting of three North Carolina regiments and the Fourth Alabama; also for Captain Reilly's battery to be included in the number to be sent here. Will you please to refer this to the Secretary of War? General Clingman, who reported for duty yesterday, informs me that nearly ten days ago your ordered the two regiments lately taken from here, together with two others, to be moved back to this place. Only one has arrived (Cantwell's). Radcliffe's and the other two have been detained by Major-General French near Kinston. I can add nothing more forcible to my explanations heretofore given of the weakness and necessities of this point. I am sure the Department and yourself are fully aware of all the circumstances. Information has been received from a spy that the enemy have concentrated quite a large force of troops (upward of 20,000, it is said) on Roanoke Island, part of which came from New York and part from the vicinity of Suffolk, intended for an expedition, according to camp talk, against this place. However that may be, Roanoke Island is certainly a favorable point for preparing and fitting