ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE,
November 7, 1864.
Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War.
H. L. CLAY,
HEADQUARTERS JOHNSON'S DIVISION,
Petersburg, Va., October 27, 1864-3 p. m.
Lieutenant Colonel W. H. PALMER, Assistant Adjutant-General:
COLONEL: As i understand it, your note received by bearer has been complied with. My division, Finegan's and Wright's brigades, and Archer's battalion reach from the river to Battery Numbers 45. General Anderson had given me orders previously to receiving your note to extend my command to the Weldon railroad and relieve Finegan's and Wright's brigades. I suspend this movement (not yet commenced) upon contents of your note.
B. R. JOHNSON,
Wilmington, N. C., October 27, 1864.
General BRAGG, Commanding, &c., Wilmington:
GENERAL: I beg leave to call your attention to the expediency, not to say necessity, of at once moving the conscripts now engaged in the State salt-works from our front lines, and if nor placing them where they ought to be, in the ranks, at least putting it out of their power to do harm from their disloyalty. Your attention is respectfully called to numerous letters on the subject of these men. At this time they occupy a very accessible point o n Masonborough Sound, which is frequently visited by the enemy. They are known to be hostile to our cause and strongly in favor of Holden and his teachings. They are within reach of two very important lines of telegraphic communication. They are in sufficient force to do very great damage in the approach of an enemy, and will no doubt act as guide, cut wires, and perhaps burn railroad bridges at N. E. [North East.]
When the expedition under Foster was expected the department was notified, and he moved his establishment across the Cape Fear. This, too, was before the character of his force was suspected. It is doubly necessary now. As no salt-making can be carried on while the enemy are in force along the coast, and there can be little doubt that an attack is imminent, there can be no impropriety in sending off the salt-makers. I, therefore, earnestly urge that notice be given at once before it is too late. All private salt-works will be notified to-day to suspend operations until further orders, and cause their operatives to withdraw. The State salt-works have a large number of excellent teams. As our transportation is very limited, no doubt the Governor will allow the quartermaster's department to make use of them pending the present emergency. This favor has been heretofore extended
W. H. C. WHITING,