into the eastern counties of North Carolina we had hoped to make a diversion upon New Berne and surprise the garrison at Washington. The high waters have washes away the bridges and detained us a week, and it is probable that the enemy has discovered our movements. It is possible, however, that this force may have returned to the Army of the Potomac.
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A.,
Richmond, March 30, 1863.
Brigadier General W. H. C. WHITING,
Commanding, Wilmington, N. C.:
GENERAL: In reply to your letter of the 23rd instant I have the honor to say that it is not perceived how prices are increased by the export of cotton. As necessaries, to some extent at least, are brought in in return, the trade ought to diminish the prices; but apart from this the existing law allows the export, and the Department is not authorized, except under military exigencies, to obstruct or stop the trade.
Your obedient servant,
J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
Swift Creek, Va., March 31, 1863.
Major General D. H. HILL,
Commanding at Cross-Roads:
GENERAL: Your letter of this date, directing me to march with all my force to Yankee Hall, has been received. I will move early to-morrow with [William A.] Owens' [Fifty-third North Carolina] and [Thomas S.] Kenan's [Forty-third North Carolina] regiments by way of the cross-roads. Colonel [E. C.] Brabble, [Thirty-second North Carolina], with the other troops, will march directly across, and I presume will be able to reach there to-morrow night. I learn from Lieutenant Barrington that Yankee Hall is on the Tar River, 7 miles above Washington. I will write to Kemper immediately.
RICHMOND AND DANVILLE R. R., PRESIDENT'S OFFICE,
Richmond, Va., March 31, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I regret to have to report to you that the condition of this road is such as to make it indispensable that there should be at least 5 miles of iron procured for it. There are between 4 and 5 miles of road at Amelia Court-House that is unsafe and cannot be rendered safe without it is laid with new rail. With the exception of that portion of the road we may continue to run it, with great care and caution, for some time to come. No caution or care can make safe the portion of the track above referred to. We have had various and frequent accidents, caused by the condition of that part of the road, and, being unable to