War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0868 NORTH CAROLINA AND S. E. VIRGINIA. Chapter XXX.

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forwarded at once and another to be held in readiness for transportation. You must re-enforce General Whiting as far as you can venture to weaken your line.

J. A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War.

HEADQUARTERS,

Wilmington, N. C., February 3, 1863.

Major General [S. G.] FRENCH,

Goldsborough, N. C.:

MY DEAR GENERAL: The question of traverse against reverse fire at [Forts] Fisher and Caswell has already been amply provided for. Another heavy casemate has been erected at Fisher, a little to the right of the detached battery Bolles. Were my guns of heavier caliber I should be much at ease as to that work. When the 10-inch columbiads get as far as Goldsborough push them through. At Fort Caswell, which was the weakest point of the system, I have six guns in iron casemates of good construction. With a little more time will have the whole channel guns iron-covered. Heavy sand traverses separate them. On the reverse faces most of the guns looking inward have been placed on the cornice-way, for fire on the anchorage, and their place terre-plein occupied by huge traverses, which defiled the reverse of the casemates and cover the citadel. The casemates in the channel fronts also cover the citadel. Guns of the heaviest caliber are also mounted there. In Brunswick River strong obstructions have been placed, covered by a strong battery, 1 1/2 miles below Fort French upon a high hill. The railroad bridge to Wartherton [Lumberton] Railroad is covered by a battery of three 24-pounders and by rifle-pits. [Sic. The railroad bridge over the Lumber River is covered by a battery of three 24-ponders and by rifle-pits.] The bluffs in the city from old Robert Brown's house, near the shipyard, down to Frolick's sword factory, below the foundry, are occupied by several strong batteries. Another above the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad Wharf commands the thoroughfare. The movements of the enemy puzzle me. Unless they are gone mad they cannot mean to attack Savannah. It could have no possible effect on the war if they were to take it. Wilmington, Charleston, or Mobile is worth forty Savannahs to us and to them. they may mean to try and withdraw troops from here and North Carolina for they still have a very heavy force at Beaufort; but that should be resisted. I fear Beauregard will take alarm and recall his troops from here. I have let G. W. [Smith] know my views on the matter. Nothing new this morning. Heavy gale of wind from northward.

Very respectfully,

W. H. C. WHITING,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS,

Wilmington, N. C., February 3, 1863.

Colonel GORGAS,

Chief of Ordnance, Richmond, Va.:

COLONEL: I wish to call your attention to the necessity for guns of the heaviest caliber within the means of the department for the successful defense of this place. I learn with great pleasure that one 10-inch columbiad is now in its way. One more is absolutely necessary. The