War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0794 NORTH CAROLINA AND S. E. VIRGINIA. Chapter XXX.

Search Civil War Official Records


Wilmington, N. C., December 12, 1862.

Major General GUSTAVUS W. SMITH, Richmond, Va.:

The following dispatch has just been received from Colonel James Radcliffe:

The enemy in large force is within 2 miles of Trenton, on the north side of the Trent River; reported advancing, direction either Kinston or Magnolia. The fleet is reported to have left New Berne to attack Wilmington.




Richmond, Va., December 12, 1862.

GENERAL: Major-General Elzey having reported to me for duty is assigned to the command of the Richmond defenses and that portion of my command lying north of James River. Drewry's Bluff and the works around Manchester being a part of the Richmond defenses proper will be under the command of General Elzey. It is difficult to prescribe exact geographical boundaries between the commands of Generals Elzey, French and Whiting, but even were these lines definitely drawn they would necessarily be disregarded in emergency, and, in case of active operations against the enemy, department or district lines would be st aside and a combined effort made to beat the foe. I desire to impress upon you the importance of co-operation and a thorough understanding of the condition of affairs in the respective commands. Information concerning the movements of the enemy should be promptly sent to the nearest commander at the same time that it is communicated to this office. It is my desire that you should exercise within your respective commands all the authority which the regulations, usage, and orders confer upon geographical military commanders in war in the presence of the enemy. I shall endeavor to give you all the assistance and support within my power and will be with you in person whenever practicable. The duties of Brigadier-General Winder being of a peculiar character, and more or less connected directly with the War Department, he will continue to make his report to this office and to the Security of War or Adjutant and Inspector General of the army as heretofore; but as regards the military operations proper, and the defenses of the city, all will, when called upon, be under the direction of the senior officer present.

Respectfully and truly, yours,


Major-General, Commanding.


Richmond, Va., December 12, 1862.

I. Major General Arnold Elzey is assigned to the command of the Richmond defenses, and of such other portions of this command as are not included in the Cape Fear District and the Department of North Carolina. He will establish his headquarters in the city of Richmond.

II. Captain John W. Riely, assistant adjutant-general, is temporarily assigned to duty with Major-General Elzey.

By command of Major General G. W. Smith:


Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.