difficult to get between Suffolk and Norfolk. He says the plan of Suffolk and fortifications I sent you is correct. The troops at Suffolk are not reliable. I am preparing to rebuild the Joiner Bridge. I will hear to-night, I think, from a gentleman in Suffolk and will write you by next mail.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Petersburg, Va., April 4, 1863-2 p. m.
Major General D. H. HILL, Commanding, &c.:
GENERAL: In asking you to send me the cavalry, leaving a regiment in Bertie, I only wished the cavalry over and above the force that you need on your picket line. Three companies should be kept with General Whiting at Wilmington. The enemy seems to be re-enforcing in the West with a view to operating actively there, and only on he defensive in the East. We should therefore act promptly here with the purpose of pushing some of our forces West as soon as we may be able to do so. If you find that you are likely to be detained any time in reducing Washington it will probably be better to abandon it and confine yourself to drawing out the supplies from the eastern counties. This you can do with the force properly belonging in North Carolina. The cavalry I will send back as soon as we can get the supplies from the country east of the Chowan. I want the brigades of Generals Garnett and Kemper at Franklin, Va., as soon as you find that you cannot reduce the garrison at Washington without consuming too much time; or, if you are successful, I want them returned to me at Franklin; also my Whitworth, if it is not the one that was burst. Give me the earliest information of the time that these troops can be put at Franklin.
I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
I suppose that you know that we have not the ammunition to fight an artillery battle against the enemy's fortifications.
WILMINGTON, N. C., April 5, 1863.
Beauregard informs me eight monitors off Charleston Bar. Enemy have landed four regiments on Cole's Island. He desires telegraph kept open.
W. H. C. WHITING.
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A.,
Richmond, Va., April 5, 1863.
General W. H. C. WHITING,
Wilmington, N. C.:
The movements of the enemy seem to threaten an approaching attack on Charleston. Hold Ransom's brigade in readiness for movement in the event their forces should be concentrated for a land attack.
J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.