be but of little effect. I understand the Governor of North Carolina has directed Colonel Hinton, commanding these forces, to report to Major-General Pickett.
I trust the major-general will pardon these suggestions, but I regard the mater as important.
I am, sir, very respectfully,
M. W. RANSOM,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
Petersburg, January 12, 1864.
I respectfully forward this communication, and recommend Major James Dearing as an officer well known to me. He has served with me for two years under my immediate command. I know of no one more justly entitled to promotion than Major Dearing. The service needs an efficient officer in the section of country to which he will go.
GEO. E. PICKETT,
Wilmington, December 30, 1863.
Commanding Fort Fisher:
COLONEL: I have been giving the subject of the defense of your post much consideration. As you know, its weak point has always been the land approach. Topsail will be rendered secure, as I am now throwing up exterior lines on Virginia Creek just beyond Topsail and controlling that point. If the enemy design a land attack on this side the river and the fort, I think a work somewhat similar to Fort Campbell, though not so extensive, can be put up just below Gatlin, inclosed from the Sound to the beach, together with a battery at A to flank the approaches; the direction of the faces armed with cannon to be varied to suit the ground, and that toward the enemy and seaward to be provided with ample traverses. In connection with this, the troops might throw up a line from Burns and the river over toward the battery which you have between Gatlin and Fisher, and occupy the hill near Fisher.