force, and properly belongs to it. The removal of the reserves, the disbanding of the home guards, and the return of the department battalion to their work on details makes it absolutely necessary for me to press my request of yesterday for the Tenth North Carolina and the Sixty-eighth. The reserves will supply their plastic in General Baker's command.
W. H. C. WHITING,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
December 31, 1864.
Hoke's division is held for a special purpose, and it is not deemed advisable to use it as indicated. It is supposed that all the duties proposed can be performed by the senior reserves, the artillery and cavalry.
By order of General Bragg:
Wilmington, December 31, 1864.
Commanding, &c., Smithville:
GENERAL: From what I saw in the action of 24th and 25th, I think it advisable to provide at once cover for all guns exposed to bombardment at a distance, say two miles. The positions that ships can occupy can readily be defined and the guns covered in that direction, reducing the field of fire simply to the bars and channel ways, which are within our effective range. This is not much over one mile. At Fort Campbell, for example, the right of the four guns bearing on the bar might be covered from fire proceeding from the southern shoal. The guns firing on the Rip ought all to be put in embrasure. Each company or detachment stationed at any battery ought to construct for themselves light bonb-prof shelters, near to their posts. By building these in the rear of traverses or against the rampart slope at Campbell or the counterscarp at Caswell, they will require but little earth and may be readily put up by the men. The same should be done at Bald Head, both in Fort Holmes and along the lines. This will not only greatly conduce to the security of all not immediately at the guns, but as the severity of the enemy's fire and its great range will effectually destroy all wooden buildings, these shelters by their number will make shift for quarters. Logs squared on two sides only can be made use of. I have ordered down a large amount of lumber to Fisher. I am so busy with my report that I will not be able to come down before Monday. In the meantime use all the means in your power to complete what we are at. I think it will be found necessary to make a left flank or face to Buchanan as well as to put up a strong battery between there and the Mound firing on the channel. I observed some light-draught boats got over on the shoals in a position to enfilade Buchanan, or nearly so, the battery having but