General GUSTAVUS W. SMITH:
Would it not be well to send from troops around Goldsborough further re-enforcements to Wilmington and forward thence all the force that can possibly by spared for defense of Charleston? I do not apprehend attack on Petersburg or Richmond, nor do I see how, consistently with the other objects referred to by the President, forces can be drawn back in this direction. All subsistence supplies that are attainable should be collected and sent from North Carolina to this city.
J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
RICHMOND, VA., February 10, 1863.
Respectfully referred to General French, calling his attention tot he indorsements of the President and Secretary of War.
G. W. SMITH,
[FEBRUARY 3-6, 1863.- For correspondence between President Davis, the Secretary of War, and General Lee, in reference to re-enforcements from Army of Northern Virginia for North and South Carolina, see Series I, Vol. XIV, pp. 759, 762-764, 766.]
Wilmington, February 4, 1863.
General BEAUREGARD, Charleston, S. C.:
Dispatch received from Secretary of War ordering me to send you a brigade and to hold another in readiness. Troops will accordingly move to-day, as fast as transportation will admit, commencing with Colquitt's brigade. Has been a smash on the railroad. Charleston mail not in. What news from the enemy? Are they threatening Charleston? Do you want Gist? Do not think the enemy intend Savannah at all.
W. H. C. WHITING,
[FEBRUARY 4-7, 1863.- For Beauregard to Whiting, see Series I, Vol. XIV, pp. 762, 764, 767, 768.]
RICHMOND, VA., February [March?] 5, 1863.
GENERAL: The Secretary of War requested me to write to you and say that he desires you to have a close reconnaissance made of Suffolk with the view of attacking and carrying it, if you think it advisable and it can be done with advantage. If, however, the works are found too strong, he does not propose to carry it out. I think you had better come over and see him yourself if you can spare the time.
Very truly and respectfully, your obedient servant,