War of the Rebellion: Serial 082 Page 0752 OPERATIONS IN SE.VA.AND N.C. Chapter LII.

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it will become a place of importance to them. For these reasons I would most earnestly protest against this step on the part of the naval authorities. It is risking much, with fearful odds against us, for the doubtful prospect of an inconsiderable advantage. My condition here with a small garrison would be very precarious if the iron-clad came to harm. I most respectfully request that the honorable Secretary of War be informed of the state of affairs, so that he may take such steps to prevent an impending calamity as his good judgment of the Navy might enable him to procure a revocation of the order to Captain Maffitt.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO, WORTHAM,

Colonel, Commanding Post.

[First indorsement.]

HDQRS. SECOND DIST., DEPT. OF N. C. AND S. VA., Goldsborough, July 8, 1864.

Respectfully referred to the Secretary of War.

Attention invited to accompanying letter.

[L. S. BAKER,]

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

[Second indorsement.]

JULY 15, 1864.

For conference with the honorable Secretary of the Navy.

J. A. S.,

Secretary.

HDQRS. SECOND DIST., DEPT. OF N. C. AND S. VA., Goldsborough, N. C., July 8, 1864.

Captain J. M. OTEY,

A. A. G., Dept.of N. C., and S. Va., Petersburg, Va.:

CAPTAIN: I desire to call the attention of the general commanding to the fact that Captain J. N. Maffitt, C. S. Navy, commanding gun-boat Albemarle, has verbal instructions to attack the enemy's fleet in Albemarle Sound. In the opinion of Commodore Pinckney and Captain Cooke, both thoroughly acquainted with the capacity, &c., of the gunboat Albemarle, there is great danger of her capture if she goes out into the sound for his purpose. I have received to-day an earnest protest from Colonel Wortham, commanding at Plymouth, against this step, which I have taken the liberty of forwarding direct to the Secretary of War, with my approval thereof and a request that he will obtain an immediate revocation of the order to Captain Maffitt. This was done in order to avoid the necessary delay which would have occurred in sending it through your headquarters, and I hope this course will meet the approbation of the general commanding, and that he will deem it necessary to take immediate steps in the premises to procure a revocation of the order to Captain Maffitt, as the loss of the Albemarle would probably necessitate the evacuation of the country recently recaptured by our forces, and now so important to the Confederacy.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. S. BAKER,

Brigadier-General, Commanding District.