is done she will be a match for anything the rebels can bring down. It is a matter of surprise to me that this has not been done before this. Unless we have something in the sounds to cope with the rebel rams we must expect at no distant day to have some serious disaster, for one single ram, if properly managed, can drive every one of our wooden vessels from the sounds.
It would require but little ingenuity to carry one of our iron-clads or rams over the bar at Hatters Inlet, and I cannot too strongly urge this matter upon your attention. If with all our iron-clads and rams we permit ourselves to be caught as we were at Plymouth last spring it will be a lasting disgrace to us.
I shall inclose for your information the last account of progress on the ram from a deserter who came in here yesterday. I received similar accounts every few days, and they can be relied upon.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
I. N. PALMER,
Brigadier-General, U. S. Vols., Commanding Dist. of North Carolina.
WINCHESTER, January 24, 1865-7 p. m.
Chief of Staff:
I wish to fit up a canvas pontoon bridge for the cavalry of this military division, and want a company of pontoniers to take charge of it. Will you have the kindness to order a company to me from the Army of the Potomac. I should like to have the same company and officers that I had with me on my expedition in June last to Trevilian's Station.
P. H. SHERIDAN,
HARPER'S FERRY, W. VA., January 24, 1865.
The Shenandoah has risen four feet in two hours, with immense gorge of ice. I doubt whether we can save the pontoon, the rise is so sudden and the ice so heavy. Shall use all effort to save the bridge. This evening truss of railroad bridge across the Potomac on canal gave way over the canal, but after two hours it has been repaired so as to admit the passage of trains. The troops are just commencing to arrive from the West. General Schofield and staff on Western train.
JOHN D. STEVENSON,
SAINT INIGOES, MD., January 24, 1865.
Captain W. TELL STREET,
U. S. Stream Fuchsia:
By order of the commander you will place you vessel near to the Roanoke, and remain there until further orders, with just sufficient steam to go ahead at a moment's warning. Send Dragon to Rappahannock, to say to Captain Hyde to give up cruising with the vessels