Second. The reserves are undisciplined and uninstructed. Officered from their own number, they are very inefficient. A proper commander is needed. I applied to General Lee; he refers me to General Holmes, and General Holmes says he has none to spare. The circle is squared, but the troops still remain without a commander.
Third. It is not very encouraging to await an attack from an expedition, thoroughly organized of veterans, and have nothing but home guards, reserves, and untried artillery to meet them.
Fourth. The navy here is a nuisance. All the drunkenness and rowdyism that I have seen, and there is much of it, has been by naval men. Garroting and robbery are not uncommon, and are invariably traced to them. They all remain up at the town of Wilmington instead of being down at the mouth of the river, where they could do effective service as picket guards and on boat duty, especially in saving Government property by wrecking, &c., a duty now devolved on soldiers who have more than they can attend to in defending, guarding, and building works. I am informed they receive more than double the soldier's ration, whilst doing no duty, and great complaint arises and collisions even occur. Indeed, the two services are very hostile,and if the navy cannot be put on duty it would be better to remove them. The recent codfish expeditions are farcical.
Foregoing submitted by me from General Bragg to President November 15, 1864.
JNumbers B. SALE,
HEADQUARTERS FIRST ARMY CORPS,
November 17, 1864.
Brigadier General M. W. GARY, Commanding Cavalry Brigade:
The scout of the Signal Corps have informed General Lee that the Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry and the First New York Mounted Rifles, both of Kautz's cavalry division, have gone to the south side of the James to a point between Portsmouth and Suffolk. General Longstreet wishes you to inform yourself of the truth of this report. Wood's battalion will remain under your command, and you will be charged with its care and attention to the duties it is now performing. If any of your scouts are on the south side (General Lee reports two belonging to this side of the river) you will recall them.
I am, general, your most obedient servant,
WILMINGTON, N. C.,
November 17, 1864.
I. I assume the command of the Department of North Carolina, as defined in Special Orders, Numbers 269, paragraph XXIV, Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, November 11, 1864.
II. Major-General Whiting and Brigadier-General Baker will continue the territorial commands heretofore exercised by them, and make their reports to these headquarters.