War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0848 NORTH CAROLINA AND S E. VIRGINIA. Chapter XXX.

Search Civil War Official Records

Ransom's division being brought this side of Drewry's Bluff. I have received nothing since from the Department and, I think, nothing but this telegram since I left Richmond on the 5th instant. I fear your telegrams to me have again miscarried.

I remain, very respectfully and truly, yours,




JANUARY 16, 1863.

Read and returned to Secretary of War. The question of forces has been considered. The question of rank of Major-General Smith is not for action.

J. D.


Wilmington, N. C., January 15, 1863.


Commanding Fort Saint Philip, N. C.:

MAJOR: I need not tell you to hold your position as long as possible. If, however, many of the enemy's fleet should succeed in passing your batteries and proceeding up the [river], or compel you to withdraw, you are directed to proceed to the railroad bridge on Brunswick River for its protection, placing a strong picket at the obstruction on that river. You should in this event take with you all the provisions, &c., you can carry, taking teams for the purpose. Please to recollect that for one, two or even three steamers passing you, you will not necessarily leave; but a large fleet sufficient to overcome the upper batteries after getting by might remove the obstructions and destroy the bridge. Further orders will be sent you.




Wilmington, N. C., January 15, 1863.

General S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL: Assigned to take charge of defense of Wilmington, I arrived here November 17, 1862. The yellow fever, which had desolated the city and stopped all work, had not yet ceased. The condition importance, and necessities of the place were immediately set forth and have since been repeatedly urged to the department. I found the defensive works generally imperfect and many important points neglected; a partial line of earthworks, well constructed but weak in profile, had been thrown up between the two mill-ponds on the east and south of the city 1 1/2 miles in extent. They had twelve pieces of artillery mounted, mostly naval 24s and 32s, of the old pattern. These batteries, mounting eight guns, had been placed just below the upper jetty lights, and two to command an imperfect obstruction, composed of logs and chains, near Mount Tirza. An attempt had been made to build an iron battery for this purpose, but so defective in design and position that I directed it to be stopped. On the opposite side of the river, 14 miles from the city Battery Saint Philip had been erected, well constructed mounting eleven guns, but defective in the quality and caliber of its ordnance and in the location of proper protecting traverses from enfilade and even reverse fire. On Confederate Point, to protect New Inlet, had been con-