RICHMOND, VA., December 15, 1862.
To the PRESIDENT, Montgomery, Ala.:
General R. E. LEE:
I arrived here (Goldsborough, N. C.) at 3 p.m. The telegraph with General Evans is cut off. By latest information he was at Falling Creek, 6 miles this side of Kinston. Enemy now estimated at 30,000 and scouts report re-enforcements constantly arriving from New Berne. Governor Vance is here. All accounts agree that our troops behaved admirably in the engagement yesterday.
G. W. SMITH,
The above just received at 8.30 p.m. We have sent all the re-enforcements to be spared here, from the Blackwater, and in North Carolina. General Beauregard has promised 5,000, which I hope will arrive in time. I have ordered here, if possible to be spared, two regiments from General Samuel Jones and two from General Humphreys Marshall.
J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
DECEMBER 16, 1862
Major General GUSTAVUS W. SMITH, Goldsborough, N. C.:
The line being cut by the enemy, can I help you by moving up to any point on the railroad or shall I wait? Glad my last train reached you.
W. H. C. WHITING,
GOLDSBOROUGH, N. C., December 16, 1862-8 p.m.
Major General S. G. FRENCH, Moseley Hall, N. C.:
GENERAL: I shall send down five trains to-night, and I think it would be well to have the men sleep on board in case the enemy move upon the railroad and country bridges. General Clingman should be re-enforced at once or we lose all chance of taking the offensive when our forces arrive. It might be very important to have a battery promptly brought up. How many pieces have you? None of the troops from Richmond have arrived yet, and the batteries are behind the infantry. The two 30-pounder got here to-day, but without horses. They are almost useless, if not in the way. Large number of trains have been sent up, and I hope to be able to bring down some horses and wagons for the command. One regiment (the Fifty-second North Carolina) has just arrived. I shall send it over the river. I think if it is practicable that General Pettigrew had better come up in the first train with Burgwyn's regiment, and that his troops should follow. Let General Robertson hold position at Spring Bank Bridge with, say, two regiments and two pieces, and let General Evans, with his brigade, take position to cover the town on this side, support Robertson if it should be necessary and be in place to support the troops beyond the bridges if required. There are five field pieces now at and beyond the bridges, with Colonel [S. D.] Pool's battalion of artillery and Clingman's two regiments. The almost entire absence of information and the conflicting nature of what is brought in make it very difficult to determine upon anything understandingly. If General Pettigrew's brigades crosses over I desire that you should take command of the forces on that side; that is, of Clingman and Pettigrew. When my six regiments get here, if the movement is made on the other bank, we will, I hope, be strong enough