WILMINGTON, December 26, 1864.
MY DEAR FRIEND: You have all my sympathy and gratitude for the noble defense you are making. Bragg left here this morning and said he would attack, so I pray God you may not be overwhelmed. Don't fail to telegraph to me for anything or on any matter in which I can serve you or yours. My whole heart is with you, and I would my body was also.
T. H. HOLMES.
Sugar Loaf, December 26, 1864.
Arms-bearing men present for duty: Kirkland's brigade, 1,478; Hagood's brigade, 720; Connally's brigade, 600; total, 2,798. Second South Carolina Cavalry, 350; Paris' battery (approximated), 125; Southerland's battery (approximated), 125; total, 250; grand total, about, 3,398.
SMITHVILLE, December 26, 1864 - 7 a. m.
I have not heard from Major-General Whiting since 10.15 o'clock last night. Have had rain storm, which made it impossible to move the four companies I was to send to Battery Buchanan. Steamer has gone for them now. It is yet raining and thick, although the wind has subsided. Railroad line not working.
SMITHVILLE, December 26, 1864 - 8.40 a. m.
I have ordered the steam ferry-boat Clarendon to go to Fisher and communicate with Major-General Whiting. Fog very thick. No wind. The Clarendon takes up one flat load of shot. She leaves now.
SMITHVILLE, December 26, 1864 - 9.30 a. m.
I have just received by small boat, by hand of Major Saunders, a dispatch from General Whiting, dated 7.30 a. m. He still holds and says that if you want to save the place the enemy must be driven from his front. Weather still calm and very foggy.