condition of the place against the attack sure to come. By water we may be regarded as tolerably secure. Unfortunately the enemy will not take that way, or will only approach that way. My antagonist is soldier enough, and in addition has been stationed here long enough to know the best way to attack the city, the batteries, the harbor, and the forts. He will adopt that way-the attack from the Sound. Against that advance I have now but 700 infantry and about 300 heavy artillery, with two or three companies of Partisan Rangers. In opposing this attack the garrisons of Forts Fisher, Caswell, Saint Philip, and other batteries cannot be taken into account. They must man the batteries whether the enemy attack the river or not. If the Government intends to send me troops, please let me know. If it cannot, I will endeavor to save what can be saved from him, and as there is no mode of retreat from this position I will also make preparation to destroy the city. The enemy may ten find the garrison among the ruins.
W. H. C. WHITING,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
November 23, 1862.
Major General GUSTAVUS W. SMITH,
Commanding, &c., Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: My letter of yesterday to the Adjutant and Inspector General* contains all the information I possess relative to General Burnside's army. There are no indications of his future movements or plans. His apparent present inaction leads me to apprehend that he may be preparing to transfer his army to some other quarter, as his position is such as to render it extremely difficulty to obtain information as to what may transpire in his rear. Scouts are on the watch, but they have to make so large a circuit, both right and left, that great delay necessarily occurs in receiving the information they obtain. I have therefore thought it advisable to request that you will endeavor to obtain accurate information of what may be transpiring south f James River and to take measure,s if possible, to be informed as early as practicable of the approach to our waters of any transports or vessels. I shall endeavor to have watch kept on the Potomac of the movements of vessels down that river, as it is very difficult to approach Aquia Creek.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
Petersburg, Va., November 24, 1862.
Gov. ZEBULON B. VANCE, Raleigh, N. C.:
DEAR SIR: When I joined our forces that were assembled near Tarborough I was very forcibly struck with the want of positive and accurate information as respected the force of the enemy under General Foster as well as to the roads along which he was advancing, and which important information I think could and should have been conveyed to General Martin by the inhabitants residing along the line of his march. To remedy such, or rather to provide for the ascertaining of all movements of the enemy n any future advance, permit me to suggest
*See Series I, Vol. XXI, p. 1026.