War of the Rebellion: Serial 089 Page 1279 Chapter LIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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two double-enders, eleven iron-clads, twelve mortar boats, the remainder transports, there being in all eighty-five steamers. The land force of 20,000 under Butler, the naval force under Lee and Porter; also 10,000 men, mostly negroes, left Fort Monroe at same time for New Berne, under General Palmer; 2,000 left Norfolk same time, with six pieces of artillery, under Major Gates, for Weldon, to form junction with troops from New Berne. It states General Foster has been re-enforced so as to form junction with Sherman; and two army corps, under Couch, have left Fort McHenry to re-enforce Thomas; and that Grant has united Sheridan's forces with his own to attack here. The whole is exaggerated and improbable, but may contain some truth.

R. E. LEE.

WILMINGTON, December 18, 1864.

Governor VANCE, Raleigh:

A very large fleet, very formidable, under Porter, with very large land force, 20,000, under Butler, left Fortress Monroe on Friday to attack Wilmington. The advance squadron is already at Beaufort.

W. H. C. WHITING,

Major-General.

WILMINGTON, December 18, 1864.

Brigadier-General HEBERT, Smithville:

The fleet left Old Point Friday for Wilmington, Wabash and Colorado in advance, painted white, with Confederate flag. Troops concealed under deck. Two double-enders, eleven iron-clads, five torpedo raisers, twelve mortar-boats, the remainder transports, there being eighty-five in all, and all steamers. The land forces to consist of 20,000 men under Butler, the naval forces under Admirals Lee and Porter; 10,000 land forces left Fortress Monroe at same time for New Berne.

W. H. C. WHITING,

Major-General.

Present for duty.

Command Offi-cers Men. Effective Aggregate Aggregate Pieces

total present present of

present and field

absent. artillery.

Colonel 88 1,187 1,244 1,405 2,114 7

J. B.

Palmer's

command

(Mountain

District)

Major 8 29 32 43 112

Erwin's

battalion

Senior

Reserves

Total 96 1,216 1,276 1,448 2,226 7

No return from Thomas' Legin since September 1, 1864. Within the past two weeks the remainder of the legion, numbering about 100 men, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Love, has returned to this command from Northern Virginia. No return from Major Erwin within the last two weeks. Brigadier General B. T. Johnson has assumed command of the prison guard at Salisbury, N. C.