War of the Rebellion: Serial 088 Page 1282 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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aid in picketing and guarding the river now so much exposed, and to mand the batteries which are so much in need of men. I beg that you will have this matter considered. It is in every respect a grave one. I am satisfied not only that General Beauregard agrees with me, as do the officers of the navy here, and the entire community.

Very respectfully,


[First indorsement.]


October 5, 1864.

Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War, with the request that orders be given the enrolling officers to expedite as much as possible the enrolling of the negro force. The attention of the Department is invited to General Whiting's remarks as regards the use of the naval force in the defense of Wilmington.

R. E. LEE,


[Second indorsement.]

OCTOBER 6, 1864.

Respectfully referred to the honorable Secretary of the Navy, inviting his attention to the postscript of General Whiting's letter.


[Third indorsement.]

Respectfully returned to honorable Secretary of War.

General Whiting has evidently not considered the subject of the employment of the two vessels to which he refers. Had he looked at the structure of these vessels and the effect of the Tallahassee's cruise in its broad light, he would not have expressed the opinions he has. I am not aware that this vessel destroyed any smacks, either on the coast of New England or elsewhere.




Wilmington, N. C., September 24, 1864.

His Excellency Governor VANCE,


SIR: Can you do anything for Wilmington in the way of labor? I have most important work to do on Bald Head and at Caswell-work that is essential to the safety of this place. In the spring all negroes-the whole of the very small force sent here-were taken away and four months of precious time were lost. Of the free negroes ordered to be enrolled, I have been able to get but 800, and many of these have deserted and many are down in sickness. If you can do anything to aid in this matter, I beg you will do it quickly. There is another sort of help wanted; we must have troops here; all the labor and all the fortifications and all the engineering skill in the country will not be able to save this place without an adequate force. At no time since the