HDQRS. ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, No. 239. September 23, 1863.
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X. Brigadier General A. L. Long, Provisional Army, C. S., will report to Lieutenant Colonel R. S. Ewell, commanding Second Corps, for assignment to duty as chief of the artillery of his corps.
By command of General R. E. Lee:
R. H. CHILTON,
Assistant Adjutant and Inspector General.
NAVY DEPARTMENT, C. S.,
Richmond, September 23, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I have the honor to inclose herewith, for your information, an extract from a letter of Flag-Officer W. F. Lynch, C. S. Navy, commanding naval defenses of North Carolina.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. R. MALLORY,
Secretary of the Navy.
HALIFAX, N. C., September 12, 1863.
* * * After a careful examination of a chart of the coasts of North and South Carolina, I am persuaded that you will concur with me in thinking an attack upon the forts defending the entrances to the Cape Fear River by iron-clads impracticable for months to come.
Within a week, in all probability, we shall have the equinoctial gale, after which the weather becomes unsettled, and is frequently tempestuos.
From Baldhead Light at the southwest and principal entrance* of the Cape Fear, to Bull Bay, in South Carolina-the first harbor in a southerly direction, for any but vessels of a light draught-is a distance of 60 miles, and from New Inlet entrance to Beaufort, N. C., the nearest in that direction of sufficient draught of water, is 80 miles.
The Ironsides may ride out the gales which spring up so suddenly and with such force in the vicinity of Frying-Pan Shoals, but the monitors cannot, and therefore would scarce venture an attack during the forthcoming season.
If the south end of Smith's Island be as much neglected as was the south end of Morris Island, the enemy may transport guns to and erect batteries upon it, but I think that General Whiting has not overlooked the importance of that position.
SEPTEMBER 28, 1863.
Returned, with acknowledgments, to honorable Secretary of the Navy.
*Heretofore most important, but now with less water on its inner bar or rip than at New Inlet.-Note on original.