War of the Rebellion: Serial 089 Page 1158 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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WILMINGTON, N. C., October 21, 1864.

Lieutenant-General HOLMES,

Raleigh:

No time is to be lost. Either re-enforcements must come at once or Baker's force must be relieved and come here. I wanted to hold him where he is until your troops had passed Goldsborough and enemy's attack developed, when he would follow.

W. H. C. WHITING,

Major-General.

WILMINGTON, N. C., October 21, 1864.

General HEBERT,

Smithville, N. C.:

Did you get my dispatch last night? Reports from Kinston state sixty vessels at Beaufort; more coming. Hope there are no transports.

W. H. C. WHITING,

Major-General.

RICHMOND, VA., October 22, 1864.

The PRESIDENT:

SIR: I have the honor to return herewith Governor Vance's letter of the 14th instant, to which you called my attention.* His Excellency protests and remonstrates against the departure of the steam sloops Tallahassee and Chickamauga from Wilmington, and hope that they may be retained din the Cape Fear to assist in its defense. He does not say or intimate that they could do any good by remaining in port, but proceeds to show that they may do a great deal of harm by going to sea sent, as well from his statements as his conclusions. This communication, in language nearly identical, repeats some of the errors of the statement heretofore presented by General Whiting upon the same subject. Governor Vance knows that the Tallahassee is not a 'privateer," though she is sometimes styled 'privateer" and sometimes "pirate" by the enemy, as they call our partisan rangers "robbers" and "assassins" and our people "rebels." It would be an easy task, as the list of disasters off Wilmington is before me, to correct the error as to the number of vessels lost since the cruise of the Tallahassee; but it would be as difficult to imagine a satisfactory reason for the assertion that "ten or twelve valuable steamers have already been lost in consequence of that cruise," as it is to perceive the justice or propriety of the comparison between the relative merits of the service of this vessel and that of the Advance. It would seem from this comparison that the character of the cruise is as little understood as that of the vessel. Though the Tallahassee captured thirty-one vessels her service is not measured by nor limited to the value of these ships and cargoes, and the number of prisoners; but it must be estimated in connection with other results; the consequent insecurity of the United States coastwise commerce, the detention and delay of vessels in port, and the augmentation of the rates of marine insurance, by which millions were added to the expenses of commerce and navigation, and the compulsory

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*See p. 1148.

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