HDQRS. DEPT. OF WESTERN VA. AND EAST TENN.,
Dublin, December 20, 1863.
Colonel W. H. BROWNE,
Commanding, &c., Central Depot:
Night before last enemy divided at Cray's [Craig's] Creek, part going toward Newport, part toward Sweet Springs. If repulsed at either point, they may attempt to return by Salem and New River Bridge. I will relieve you as soon as possible.
WM. B. MYERS,
HEADQUARTERS, Wilmington, December 20, 1863.
Colonel W. M. BROWNE,
Aide-de-Camp to the President, Richmond, Va.:
COLONEL: I have received your confidential note and its important information. I beg you will call the attention of the President to my numerous letters to the War Department, demonstrating that the safety and whole plan of defense for this place depends on the presence of a strong army to oppose a movement by land. If there is danger, it must be assembled at once and be prepared to meet it. It will not do to wait until after the enemy have landed and are advancing. At present I have but a single brigade which has never yet been in battle, and a few light batteries which have never been engaged. I earnestly entreat that I may at once received such an addition to my force as may at least enable me to guard the approaches and do something toward retarding the enemy long enough to have a little chance to receive re-enforcements. Undoubtedly, if this place is attacked, the enemy will make strenuous efforts to cut the communication. If they succeed, they will get me with my present means.
Please ask General Custis Lee to examine some of my letters to the Secretary of War on the defense of this place and the necessity of a supporting army.
W. H. C. WHITING,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
December 20, 1863.
General S. COOPER:
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that the enemy have been committing the most brutal outrages upon our loyal citizens in the vicinity of Elizabeth City. Immediately upon hearing of their appearance at that place, which is 50 miles from Franklin, our nearest post, I gave orders to collect all the cavalry from the Blackwater, relieving them with infantry, and sending also 130 mounted artillery from Dearing's battalion. The enemy being also reported as fortifying opposite Harrellsville, which is in Bertie County, and just below Winton, I ordered General Ransom with three regiments of infantry, via Franklin, to the scene of devastation, and to move down with infantry, cavlary, and artillery against them. You will see by telegram inclosed that the enemy decamped upon hearing of the approach
56 R R--VOL XXIX, PT II