Point, and on the railroad, is an immense hospital and ambulance and wagon train. At the Old Court-House, three miles from the Point, is a very large pontoon train. At the old Frog-Hole Bridge is a small party getting our timber for beast-works and other purposes. At Cedar Level Station, three miles from the Point, is an immense amount of supplies; there is besides about one regiment of infantry acting as guard. The nearest point of picket-line your could strike is Colonel Green's farm, on the stage road; or, rather, the line is half a mile this side of Green's, on the stage road, running from Mount Sinai Church to Hite's place, thus cutting off a large bend in this road. Southeast of the Court-House, about five miles from City Point, is a small force of infantry, about one large regiment (negroes). The stream this side of City Point, about three miles, is impassable below Frog-Hole Bridge, which they could burn before it could be attained. At Coggins' Point are 3,000 beeves, attended by 120 men and 30 citizens, without arms. At Sycamore Church is one regiment of cavalry (First District of Columbia), about 250. This is the nearest point of the picket-line to Coggins' Point, about two miles. Sycamore Church is eight miles from Hines' Bridge, on the Blackwater; Hines' Bridge, three miles from Gee's Bridge, on Warwick Swamp, and five miles from Gee's residence. Enemy's cavalry are northwest of the Court-House. The greatest danger, I think, would be on the Jerusalem plank road in returning. The enemy are constructing a railroad from the City Point railroad to the Fifth Corps; it intersects the City Point road about six miles from City Point at a place called Jordan's. It is near this place they have their large mortar, which was firing last night; it is very large, placed on car wheels, and seems to be moved as the road progresses, which is fast. The Tenth Corps is on the right (this side Appomattox); Ninth, center; Fifth, next; Second on extreme left. I hear that they have a Fifteenth [Eighteenth] Corps, commanded by Ord. From best information Birney commands the Tenth Corps. This fifteenth [Eighteenth] and Tenth Corps are on the other side of Appomattox. Butler has just returned (yesterday) from convention. It is thought more cavalry is about returning. Colonel Spear is under arrest for drunkenness, I understand; Stratton in command.
Your obedient scout,
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., September 5, 1864.
Major General W. H. C. WHITING,
Commanding, Wilmington, N. C.:
GENERAL: The success of the enemy in closing the port of Mobile will very probably encourage them to make efforts on Wilmington. From extracts in the Northern papers I perceive that the attention of that Government is being earnestly urged to the importance of this port and to the duty of assailing it. You are fully aware of its great value to the Confederacy, and I need scarcely add any reason to stimulate your habitual vigilance to discover and guard against the approach of the enemy.
On one point alone I wish to invite your earnest and special attention. Experience at Mobile, as well as at New Orleans and at other points, shows the danger of relying for the defense of forts on troops but little tried in war, and officers not thoroughly tested in their constancy, familiarity with danger, and invincible courage. I wish, therefore,