October 5, 1864.
Respectfully submitted to the honorable Secretary of War.
I think two companies of cavalry or a small battery might be sent from South Carolina in the event of an attack on Wilmington. There are seven batteries of artillery now there, I should think sufficient. I will endeavor to replace the 6-pounders with better pieces. If the naval boats and officers required for the defense of Wilmington can be efficiently used for that purpose I think they had better be so applied. The loss of Wilmington to us would weigh more than the destruction of the enemy's coasters. I have sent 7,500 arms to Governor Vance to arm the reserves. Should more be required, I will endeavor to send them.
R. E. LEE,
OCTOBER 6, 1864.
Respectfully referred for the consideration of the honorable Secretary of the Navy, inviting his attention to General Lee's indorsement.
J. A. SEDDON,
OCTOBER 8, 1864.
Respectfully returned to honorable Secretary of War.
I do not concur in the views of General Whiting, and have written to him upon this subject. If such shells as the Tallapoosa and Edith are wanted by him, he can at any time find any number he may wish in Wilmington. I concur with General Lee's views, and think the vessels should go to sea, and regret that they have been so long detained in port.
S. R. MALLORY,
Secretary of the Navy.
Wilmington, N. C., September 26, 1864.
Lieutenant-General HOLMES, Raleigh:
MY DEAR GENERAL: I duly got your note. The information it contained was not very pleasant but I take it very kindly. Those people, from the Governor down, who express "a want of confidence in me" are probably people who have kept out of the war, and while I am doing my duty to the utmost to defend this place I care very little for abuse. I should like to know who the "high official" was who gave the Governor his information. I have never reached any such unfortunate condition as that and never will. Just advise the Governor to do all he can to send troops and labor here, and when he does that and does his duty it will be quite time to take the Government to task for sending me here, and me for failure. The responsibility is on him and the people of North Carolina, the 10,000 men between the military ages. General Lee has informed me officially that all my reliance must be on the reserve forces of the State-a good prospect. The things is so, neither General Lee nor General Anybody can hold this place with the present force if attacked with any vigor. I desire its safety so much and so sincerely that I am willing at any time to serve under any more able or