WILMINGTON, December 20, 1864.
There are twenty-eight vessels of Fort Fisher; be in readiness. Send a good officer down the military road toward Sugar Loaf with couriers, to reconnoiter and report to you. Be ready to move along the coast to oppose a landing wherever the enemy may make it.
W. H. C. WHITING,
WILMINGTON, December 20, 1864-10 a. m.
The Pelteway will be down with ammunition and provisions. Have the laboring force ready to leave the works at Ramseur and Sugar Loaf. I am coming down the river to-day on Cape Fear. Keep your reports. Signal me on board if anything new.
W. H. C. WHITING,
Proclamation of Governor Vance, of North Carolina.
Whereas the long expected attack upon our only remaining sea-port is now about to be made, and our State is also likely to be invaded at other points by an enemy to whom mercy and civilization are alike unknown and unrewarded; and
Whereas all the organized forces of the State already ordered to the front may still be insufficient to back the tide which threatens us with worse than death, and to drive from our doors a fate horrible to contemplate: Now, therefore,
I, Zebulon B. Vance, Governor of the State of North Carolina, relying upon the loyalty and devotion of her citizens, do issue this my proclamation, commanding and adjuring all good people, whether by law subject to military duty or not, who may be able to stand behind breastworks and fire a musket, of all ages and conditions, to rally at once to the defense of their country and hurry to Wilmington; and I do appeal to every man who has the spirit of a freeman in his bosom, who has a spark of the fire or a drop of the blood of the heroes of the great army of the great captain in his veins, to come and come at once. The man who hangs back now because the law does not compel him to go, and consoles himself with the much-abused and mean-spirited pea that he can be more useful at home, will find it hard to make us believe that he is not pleading the cause of cowardice or disloyalty. The country needs their help now, and that help must be given in the hour of distress, or their help now, and that help must be given in the hour of distress, or they must own that their souls are only fitted to enjoy the freedom purchased with other men's blood. For a few days all men physically able are needed at the front, and especially do we need the example of all those who aforetime panted for the fray while it was yet at a distance, and snuffed the battle while it was yet afar off. Let every man