GANDER HALL, December 27, 1864 - 11 p. m.
General Bragg says you may use your discretion as to movement of the two regiments.
Sugar Loaf, December 28, 1864 - 11 a. m.
Lieutenant Colonel W. H. TAYLOR,
The fleet hauled off last night after the re-embarkation of the enemy, and not more than half is visible to-day. Weather thick and threatening and the sea rough. We have troops enough in position, and such dispositions now as to give us confidence. There were two arrivals last night reported with supplies; a third is aground below Caswell, but it is not yet lost.
(Copy to President Davis.)
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
December 28, 1864.
His Excellency Z. B. VANCE,
Governor of North Carolina, Raleigh:
GOVERNOR: I beg leave to call the attention of Your Excellency to the great danger we incur from the condition and management of our railroads, with the hope that you may be able to remove some of the difficulties under which we labor. General Hoke's division was ordered to Wilmington as soon as it was known that the enemy was threatening that place. The first brigade left Richmond by the Danville road on Tuesday morning, 19th instant. The other brigades followed as soon as they could be marched from below Richmond and placed on the trains. The first brigade did not reach Wilmington until the 25th, and by the afternoon of the 26th only 400 men of the second brigade of 2,000 had arrived. At that time General Bragg telegraphed that the remainder of the division had passed the Piedmont road, where most of the delay occurred, and would arrive rapidly. Yet he reported yesterday evening that up to that time only the first two brigades were with him below Wilmington and that the rest had probably reached the city. Your Excellency will readily perceive the danger we were exposed to. Fortunately, the delay was not fatal, as it might well have been. I have requested an investigation of this matter with a view to ascertaining whether the unprecedented delay was occasioned by any circumstance within the control of the military authorities, but I have thought that the State authorities can do something to aid us. I am informed that freight and passengers are shifted at Greensborough from the trains of the Piedmont road to those of the Greensborough road, and vice versa, occasioning much inconvenience and unnecessary delay, as the two roads have the same gauge. I trust that Your Excellency will endeavor to ascertain what can be done to facilitate transportation by rail, and