War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0857 Chapter XXX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.- CONFEDERATE.

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much as he wanted, as was done with Colonel Stevens. Let me ask you to have these hands and teams restored to the agent, unless it be impossible to supply their places in time. It is almost as important to the State as the safety of the city, as our people cannot live without the salt.

Most truly, yours,

Z. B. VANCE.

HEADQUARTERS,

Wilmington, N. C., January 24, 1863.

Major General GUSTAVUS W. SMITH,

Goldsborough, N. C.:

GENERAL: I am in receipt of information from within the enemy's lines which bears an appearance of probability. It is that they are now only waiting for favorable weather to attempt the reduction of the forts by the iron-clads, and that their main force will not march on this place until that shall be accomplished. the draught of the iron-clads is starred at 9 feet 2 inches. Their success will depend greatly on the weather. Supposing that they gain the entrance and harbor, entirely new combinations will be necessary and the question becomes one of much difficulty. They will move their force by transports in that event, or at least the greater part of them, and will endeavor to secure a base upon the mainland either at Smithville or on the left bank, perhaps both. I have ordered a line of defenses from the river to the Sound between here and Fort Fisher on the other side. We have already the line resting at Fort Saint Philip. Leaving out for the present the assault of the river by the iron-clads alone, the other side in Brunswick county, looking to the communication south and the security of the Upper Cape Fear River, becomes very important and forces may be required over there to hold them in check. Whether the iron-clads come up or not to endeavor to cut the communication, we must be prepared with movable batteries to stop transportation. Your battery of 20-pounder Parrotts will be invaluable. Three more iron-clads - the Weehawken, Nahant, and Patapsco - are on their way to Beaufort. We must have as many of the heaviest guns as we can possibly get. Unless the submarine mortars can do something, I do not see how the iron-clads can be kept out, though we may stop the fleet.

Very respectfully,

W. H. C. WHITING,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS,

Wilmington, N. C., January 24, 1863.

Colonel [WILLIAM] LAMB,

Commanding Fort Fisher, N. C.:

COLONEL: A probable plan of the enemy will be the reduction of the forts by iron-clads preparatory to movement in force. From their invulnerability and the great range of their guns it is not likely that they can be much affected by your shot. You should endeavor to preserve your guns and men as much as possible from damage to enable you to stop the wooden vessels. Fire should be given very deliberately from your heaviest metal and the Whitworth upon the iron-clads. Supposing her to close her ports and come in, you should provide parados