as Commissary-General of Prisoners, and Lieutenant-General Ewell be charged with the command of the post of Richmond, superadded to his other duties as commander of the defenses of Richmond. The two duties, in my judgment, are intimately connected, and will, if thus united, prevent the clashing of authority which is herein represented.
Adjutant and Inspector General.
NOVEMBER 4, 1864.
Recommendation approved, except that General Winder be ordered to general charge of prisoners.
J. A. S[EDDON],
HEADQUARTERS, Wilmington, September 8, 1864.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I have your letter of the 5th instant. The subject is matter to me of constant anxiety, and I have so often called the attention of the Department to the points on which you touch that I fear I am considered as importunate or needlessly apprehensive. The troops that are here have never been in action in the war. They are far too few for the garrisons of the forts, and ought at all times to be supported by veteran infantry, both to make the defense effectual and to permit them, as heavy artillery, to attend to their guns and drill. There are no infantry supports at all here, and the small garrison has to perform constant outpost and picket duty, to the material deterioration as practised artillerists. It must be remembered that the development and extent of the defenses here has been very greatly increased, I should say trebled, since I assumed command, yet there has been no increase of force at all to defend it. The permanent garrison of Fort Fisher should be 2,200 men; of Bald Head, the same; of Caswell and Campbell, 800 each. You will see what I have by the copy of a letter to General Beauregard, which I send you.* I agree with you, that only upon troops and officers thoroughly tested in their constancy, familiarity with danger, and invincible courage, can reliance be placed. Can you give me such? The warning of Mobile is before us. There is no place in the country now more important than this; there is no place now more liable to surprise, and yet the force here is now less than it ever has been during the war. When Foster's expedition was being fitted out for this place, at Beaufort, and which was afterward directed to Charleston by the attack of Flag-Officer Ingraham on the enemy's fleet, it was not thought sufficient to send me 8,000 veteran troops to aid the garrisons as a supporting force. At the present time, and warned of the danger, I have nothing but a few hundred boys and old men, utterly inefficient and unreliable, as experience has shown, and totally inadequate. It has now been three weeks since the Senior Reserves have been summoned for the defense of Wilmington, and in that time 324 have arrived, destitute of everything. The whole system of defense here has been placed and predicated on the presence of an army corps
*See p. 1212.