War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0783 Chapter XXX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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out the requisite transportation for such an expedition, and considering the difficulty we should have in obtaining early information of any movement from Roanoke Island its selection shows judgment. If such an attempt is to be made from there our first intimation of its will probably be from the pickets at Topsail, 22 miles off, too late for efficient support. As things stand now I could hardly hope to offer opposition enough to enable me to destroy the city. Be examining the maps of this vicinity you will see that attack coming along the plank road from the Sounds, the garrison of the town and the two sides of the river have no mode of escape. The river and its branches are wide and deep and our water transportation is not sufficient to allow of the escape of even the field batteries. The forward condition to allow of the escape of even the field batteries. The forward condition of one of the gunboats now building here; the large amount of valuable property in crops, machinery, &c., all of which ought to be destroyed rather tan that the enemy should get them, makes me perhaps importunate in my appeal. As things stand it is my intention, unless otherwise ordered, in case of attack in force by land previous to the arrival of the troops estimated as necessary, to destroy all I can, even to burning the city to the ground.

Very respectfully,

W. H. C. WHITING,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

CHARLESTON, November 21, 1862.

Brigadier General THOMAS JORDAN:

SIR: We have received and read General Whiting's letter, addressed to you, in reference to some negroes captured from the enemy. We have no knowledge of them, and are sorry to say have no steamer here, having recently lost on on the Cape Fear.

Thanking you for your kind attention we beg to say that we will cheerfully carry out your wishes hereafter and by first opportunity.

Yours, very respectfully,

JNO. FRASER & CO.

HEADQUARTERS,

Wilmington, N. C., November 22, 1862.

Major General GUSTAVUS W. SMITH,

Commanding, &c., Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL: Several days since I called the attention of the Secretary of War to the very important matter of the crops of rice in this vicinity. I advised the purchase by the Commissary Department of the lot. I have had no reply. The planters will sell to the Government for $2, a most reasonable price, considering especially the shortness of the crops and the relative value of corn and rice, the former having reached $1.75, while its customary value is not more than half that of rice. To speculators they ask a higher price. The result will be that unless taken now we must eventually either destroy it or the Government will have to pay two or three prices. I shall be compelled, I fear, to destroy it, and also much other valuable property. It is two weeks since my first representation of the critical condition of this important point. second now only to Mobile in its effects upon the war, and so far one regiment has been sent to me. I have asked but a moderate number (10,000 men and six batteries wherewith to oppose from 15,000 to 20,000 men concentrating in New Berne and Roanoke, with at least the reported, certainly the probable, purpose of attacking this place. No answer has been given me in the premises. I have explained also the defenseless