War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0789 Chapter XXX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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Wilmington, N. C., December 2, 1862.


Richmond, Va.:

SIR: Adjutant-General Cooper sometime since informed me that men in the ranks of the army who were mariners by profession would by your predecessor be detailed, on application, for the naval service, provided they were not in the face of the enemy.

As commander of the naval defenses of North Carolina I submitted last month to General French, at Petersburg, and to Governor Vance, at Raleigh, a plan for defending the inland water-courses of North Carolina against marauding expeditions of the enemy by means of movable batteries of heavier caliber than howitzers. Both promised co-operation, but without the sanction and interposition of the authority of your Department there is no hope of success.

My purpose is to raise men accustomed to the water-for at times it may be necessary to take to the water-divided in three companies, with two light 32-pounders each, to be posted, respectively, at intermediate points between the Chowan and the Roanoke, the Roanoke and the Tar, and the Tar and the Pamlico Rivers-the inland position to be as near as possible and equidistant to the two streams between which it lies; the roads to be kept in good condition both to the rivers and for some distance down their banks, and lines of signals, consisting of red, white, and black canvas balls, to be established by isolation of trees denuded of their branches, from central positions to remotest look-out points. By this means, upon first intelligence of the enemy ascending one of the rivers, two of the batteries, one on each side, could be transported to that river's bank to defend it. These movable batteries, unlike fixed ones, will not require protecting forces; and in the event of a flank movement by the enemy it is proposed to have roads rom central positions to the railroads for transportation of batteries; and as the soil of North Carolina between the delta and the mountains is sandy it by consequence becomes more inducted than softened by the winter rains. There are many men now in the camps who from their former pursuits are admirably fitted for such an undertaking, and I respectfully ask your permission to procure their names and, they consenting, your authority for their transfer to the rolls of the Navy. It would be mere platitude to speak of both professions being embarked in one common cause, &c. Your intelligence will decide what is practicable, and its decision will be enforced by patriotism.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Flag-Officer, C. S. Navy.


Wilmington, N. C., December 2, 1862.

Major General GUSTAVUS W. SMITH,

Commanding, &c., Richmond, Va.:

MY DEAR GENERAL: I fully appreciate your situation, and have for some time realized that until it was decided one way or another between Generals Lee and Burnside we could hardly hope for increase of force here now needed. My chief aim and hope, after attempting to demonstrate the necessity of the case and amount of troops required to give promise of a successful resistance in this position, has been to show also