had carried with him 2,700 of the best troops from Wilmington. Since that he has ordered to Charleston a regiment of the North Carolina reserves, and I do not think, as far as I can judge, that more troops can be taken with propriety, unless we were certain that all danger of an attack was removed from that point. In addition, I sent General Young with about 400 cavalrymen (without horses) and ordered all those previously sent to Georgia and South Carolina to report to him at Augusta, which Hampton thinks will give him about 800 mounted men, which I thought would strengthen the cavalry very much in that department. General Baker has also gone to General Bragg, so that he will have another good cavalry commander. I fear I can do nothing more under present circumstances. General Early reports that his scouts stated the Sixth Corps had broken camp on the 2nd and taken the cars at Stephenson's Depot, said to be going to City Point. From reports received from Longstreet and Ewell last night I think this last night. My last report from scouts on the James was to the 2nd. There had been great activity on the river in transportation of supplies, but no troops had passed in any number since the 17th ultimo. Reports of Early and Longstreet have not yet been corroborated, but the whole preparations of the enemy indicate some movement against us. All we want to resist them is men.
With great respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS, Wilmington, December 5, 1864.
Commanding C. S. Naval Forces, North Carolina, Present:
I much regret that I have to place before you the accompanying report* of Major Venable, assistant adjutant and inspector general, of circumstances which took place night before last on Confederate Point, seriously implicating certain officers and men belonging to the naval detachment at Battery Buchanan. I beg that you will refer the report to Lieutenant Chapman, commanding that battery, for such explanation as he may have to make, and with directions to return the report of Major Venable. The most important circumstance in this untoward affair is the violation of forty-ninth Article of War, and the very excited state of feeling brought about in the garrison of Confederate Point, so constantly on duty, day and night. But independent of the grave matter of this report as individually affecting any of the parties concerned, I am convinced that a divided command or responsibility can no longer be maintained on Confederate Point with safety to the place, which is the paramount consideration, or with regard to the best interest of both services. The position is too important, the responsibility of Colonel Lamb, commanding Fort Fisher, too great, proper discipline and subordination too essential, not to require that absolute harmony of action which can only exist in a single command and which has been so disturbed. This was duly considered in the first instance, but I was in great hopes in making the post a separate one, that no difficulty would obtain. As a part of and auxiliary to the defenses of Fort Fisher, as long as the naval detachment remains at Battery Buchanan, I must request you to direct the officer in charge