WILMINGTON, N. C., November 23, 1864.
The movement is ordered by the President and General [Lee], the former ordering General Bragg to use his judgment, the latter directing him to take all available troops from Wilmington. I have directed Jackson to send Adam's battery into Fort Fisher to Colonel Lamb. Send over the remaining company of the regiment from Fort Campbell. Sherman appears to have his cavalry raiding on the both flanks, he moving between. I have ordered the Sixty-eighth North Carolina (Hinton's) to come down the railroad at once. Will use it to replace the detachments until they return. I am commanding the department till Bragg returns. He says he will send the men back as soon as possible.
W. H. C. WHITING,
HEADQUARTERS FIRST ARMY CORPS,
November 24, 1864.
General R. E. LEE,
GENERAL: From the report of scouts received yesterday it seems that the Tenth Corps is still on this side, or if it went over to the south side has returned. The information, too, seems to indicate the arrival of the Sixth Corps from the Valley. Under these circumstances, it will be necessary for me to force the enemy to develop the extent of his move on this side before making any move of my troops to the south side. This I shall do, of course, as rapidly as possible. I am going to have the roads leading from White Oak Swamp to the Williamsburg road well broken up with subsoil plows. I think that the enemy will then have to build a corduroy there as he moves. He surely will, if I can have a good gentle rain after the roads are thoroughly plowed up. Can't you apply this idea to advantage on your side, on the roads that General Grant will be obliged to travel if he goes to Burkeville? I don't know, however, but that it would be better for us to go to Burkeville and block the roads behind him. If the roads that General Sherman must travel to get to Charleston or Savannah can be deeply plowed and the trees felled over them I think that General Sherman will not be able to get to his destination in fifty days, as the Northern papers expect, and it is not thought to be possible that he can collect more than fifty days' rations before reaching the coast. If parties are properly organized I think that they might destroy or injure all of the roads, so as to break down General Sherman's animals and result in the capture of most of his forces.
I remain, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
Colonel W. H. TAYLOR,
Your dispatch of to-day is received. The Tenth and Eighteenth Corps are on this side, and possibly the Sixth. I think that it would be