Foster's name and "to re-enforce Foster" are words retained only as a blind because they know that the designation of any prominent general would indicate their plans. I should not be surprised if you wake up and find yourself in front of Burnside or "Little Mac," and Lee far off up yonder. The same circumstances which point the enemy to this field of war prevent Lee from moving on Washington. Indeed that magnificent army should be hastening southward. Tell me your opinion and what you think will be done. How it will turn out here I cannot tell. We shall have a fight and a heavy one. I fear your own hands will be so full that you can hardly help me, but I hope not.
W. H. C. WHITING,
Wilmington, January 10, 1863.
Major General GUSTAVUS W. SMITH, Goldsborough:
They must be moving troops from Burnside's army through by way of Suffolk. Fifty-five transports and twenty-one gunboats are reported at Beaufort. If true, this means outside work. A very large force is concentrated at Morehead City. Depend upon it Burnside has induced them to change their programme from Virginia to this State.
W. H. C. WHITING.
GOLDSBOROUGH, N. C., January 11, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
The following telegram just received from General Whiting at Wilmington:
Have information from [Lieutenant John S.] Fairly of my staff,, at Swansborough. He sent a man into the lines, who reports that the enemy are moving their troops to New Berne as fast as possible; that their numbers now amount to 75,000 at New Berne and 15,000 at Morehead City, the former to advance on Weldon by Kinston, the latter on Wilmington; reports that on yesterday and to-day they will get all their troops to New Berne, and that the move on Kinston will commence Tuesday or Wednesday. You will need all the forces that can be got from northward. Yankee fleet is assembling here.
The numbers are exaggerated, but there is no doubt but they have been largely re-enforced. They have, I think, over 30,000 and less than 40,000 men. The troops at Petersburg should be placed at my disposal at once and others brought there or to Richmond.
G. W. SMITH,
CHARLESTON, S. C., January 11, 1863
Brigadier General W. H. C. WHITING,
Wilmington, N. C.:
Enemy cannot be 90,000 strong under Foster, who had 15,000 before, and he may have received as many more. I will send with your maps my system for calculating enemy's forces. It seldom fails.
G. T. BEAUREGARD.