ADJT. AND INSPECTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 99. Richmond, Va., April 23, 1863.
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XXII. The defenses at Drewry's Bluff and Manchester will be included in the Department of Richmond, under the command of Major-General Elzey.
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By command of the Secretary of War:
TRANTER'S BRIDGE, N. C.,
April 24, 1863-3 p. m.
GENERAL: Grey Ligget is near Washington. I will send for him forthwith. Forty men will be sent with Captain Graham's battery as directed. Colonel Griffin's pickets are in that direction. I can rely, however, on my own men. Capts. [J. B.] cherry and [William] Sharp, whom I sent to the vicinity of Plymouth, are in. They report, on what they regard as reliable authority, that there are 5,000 Yankees in Plymouth and expecting an attack from us. They are fortifying the place. The force in Washington two days since number 8,000; they were the same that came up the right back of the river. Two thousand of them returned yesterday for New Berne with wagons on the transports. This information is from Mr. J. Randall, just from W. But why the wagons on transports? I inclose you General Potter's order, which please forward to Major General D. H. Hill. A large number of persons in consequence of this order have left town and are now on the hill near Mrs. Ellerdee with their effects, and suffering greatly. Would it not be well to send a flag of truce,protest against the rascally conduct, and ask leave to remove the suffering women and children? I learn they are in great distress. I can rebuild the Tranter's Creek Bridge if you wish it, and will furnish transportation for the plank, which are 5 miles off. I would be glad to learn you wish on the subject. I send, as you requested, the names of the men who captured the deserter for you: Corpl. W. A. Allen, Alfred Redfern, Stephen Myers, John Edwards, E. R. Simons, and W. H. Boggan.
I am, general, most truly, your obedient servant,
D. D. FEREBEE,
Colonel Fifty-ninth North Carolina Troops.
HEADQUARTERS, April 24, 1863.
Major General S. G. FRENCH, Commanding, &c.:
GENERAL: I hope that you will try and have battery at the right fixed to-night, if possible, and the bridge across the run at your right flank fixed to-morrow, if it is already done. It is important that these things should be attended to promptly. Have your artillery harnessed and hitched by daylight in the morning. The battery on the railroad should be arranged at once, else the enemy may move out and erect a battery that would sweep along the railroad embankment.
Caution your front line to be particularly on the alert on the morning.