ROCKY MOUNT, January 17, 1863.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector-General:
On 17th a large fleet left Beaufort, N. C., to attack Wilmington by water; also a large force (70,000) started by way of Swansborough to co-operate with them by land. They are arming the negroes to garrison Washington, N. C.
W. F. MARTIN,
Commanding District of the Tar River.
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A.,
Richmond, Va., January 17, 1863.
His Excellency ZEBULON B. VANCE,
Governor of North Carolina:
SIR: Major General D. H. Hill, of your State, who is so favorably known to yourself, as indeed to the whole Confederacy, for his distinguished services with the army in Virginia, has, to the regret of the Department, been constrained to retire from his late command by ill health. He has consented for the present not to resign, but will be for a time at home in North Carolina. It has occurred to me that from the appreciation of the Department of his proven valor and skill it might be pardonable in me to suggest that in view of the dangers from the enemy now menacing your State the benefits of his counsel and co-operation might be obtained by you on conference with him. His deserved influence with the people of North Carolina might prove advantageous in animating and encouraging them to effort and endurance, and his experience and judgment give valuable suggestions as to the best mode of commanding and guiding the means of the State for defense.
Trusting to be excused for the liberty of such suggestion, I have the honor to be, with very high consideration and esteem, most respectfully, yours,
J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
Wilmington, January 18, 1863.
Colonel HARRISON, Commanding Outpost:
Send the following order to Colonel Baker:
Your dispatch of 10.30 p. m., 18th received. Your outposts must not be too precipitate. I want accurate information of the route and advance of the enemy. They must therefore neither fall back too far nor too rapidly. Advance by Tuckahoe, on the railroad, toward Kenansville should be communicated to the telegraph office there; on the Jacksonville road should be forwarded here.
W. H. C. WHITING.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
January 19, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I have received your letter of the 13th instant inclosing one from General Smith and another from General Pryor. I am pleased to