executed. I have been told that you had heavy firing this morning and last night. I earnestly pray you have again repulsed them. Your note relative to the engineers has just reached me. I will attend to its commands.
6 p. m.-Lieutenant Connor has just gone off in the direction you speak of and will be near you by she time you get this. Lieutenant Foy, whom I sent scouting near New Berne, has returned within the hour. He states that a day or two ago some twenty iron-clads and other gunboats left Beaufort-that a strong re-enforcement came up from there to New Berne. The officer I sent to break up the railroad has not yet reported. He has hardly had time, as I wished the bridge near Shepherdsville destroyed, if possible.
Very respectfully and truly,
R. RANSOM, JR.,
Wilmington, N. C., April 14, 1863.
Major General D. H. HILL,
Commanding near Washington, N. C.:
GENERAL: I have just received yours of the 12th,* inclosing a telegram* from Longstreet. I have received so many orders and counter-orders from so many different sources that really I am puzzled how to answer. The War Department has been directing me to re-enforce General Beauregard. The lieutenant-general commanding orders co-operation with you, while from his headquarters at Petersburg I get directions to aid Beauregard if the latter is urgent. Finally, General Beauregard suspends the movements of Evans' brigade. My position is then this: One regiment of Evans' brigade is in Charleston, having got off before the movement was stopped; the general himself is there; I have four here. I do not think the enemy have in the least given up their designs on Charleston. It is incredible that after such monstrous preparations they should give up-+ of that performance of the monitors. Nor am I apprehensive immediately of any demonstration on Wilmington, though such might be attempted. If, as you surmise, any feint should be made by land, your cavalry ought to let Ransom know the moment it is discovered, that he need not wait for me to call upon him. If your estimate of Foster's troops, viz, 8,000, is correct, and as Longstreet says he has received no more re-enforcements, he will neither dare to attack you nor to move on me. I know him too well. Still I must keep on the lookout. I only fear that my armament is not heavy enough to keep a monitor out. For one the get inside wold be a very serious embarrassment; but it will hardly be tried, I think, until the defenses of Charleston are more thoroughly tested; and surely unless they abandon their great expedition altogether before that first repulse they will not divert any portion of their land or naval forces for an attempt on a subordinate position. If I should hear that the fleet and transports had all passed the Charleston bar going northward I should think they were coming here and call for all the aid I could get. If they abandon their Charleston move Beauregard could aid me. In the mean time I do not like to think that your operations should be in any manner crippled to aid me unless at the last extremity. Your operations there are in fact my great security here, unless an additional expedition should be fitting out