War of the Rebellion: Serial 096 Page 1001 Chapter LVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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erations, and I wish for some of its views. It has always been thought that the two iron-clads wold have answered all the purpose of obstructions; defensive themselves, movable at will, and effectual to close both these entrances by operating at the two narrow rips in conjunction with the formidable batteries on shore, and no doubt no better means could be had. In the face of our iron-clads we might defy anything that floats to pass in the bay, but the lamentable defects in the construction of those built here-excessive draft of water, and entire want of precaution against the worm-has deprived us of them. Those passages, therefore, except as far as the shore-batteries are concerned, and the torpedoes, can be made by a determined enemy.

Shall I put obstructions down, or run the risk?

Permit me to call your attention to a point of much interest in connection with the subject of attack here. The enemy landed at the point which I have so often indicated to you as the one of several they would be likely to try; that is, to occupy the neck above Confederate Point, which for many miles is very narrow, and attempt either to Carry Fort Fisher or to establish themselves That they have not succeeded on this occasion is solely owing ot the manifest favor of Providence. The stormy weather which prevailed previous to and after the arrival of the fleet alone saved the position. The two days he waited off the fort enabled me to throw some aid by stripping the other forts, and allowed also a small part of the forces on their very-much-delayed carriage to be brought from Virginia. Still, even then, had the enemy landed on Saturday morning, as he might have done as well as on Sunday, he must have succeeded, with any kind of energy or pluck. As it was, though astonished, no doubt, by the resistance of the fort to the most tremendous fire of any war yet known, and the bold appearance of a garrison intact, which he expected to be destroyed and repelled in his advance, it is certain that he landed in large force unmolested on Sunday and re-embarked on Tuesday. This fact well illustrates what I have so often urged, that if we desire to hold this place let us have a suitable garrison here and some force, at least, in support. The enemy were certainly aware when there never should be less then 1,200 to 2,000, with its 1,800 yards of development. I know they were aware of this, from the same source which so correctly gave me the news of the movement. We cannot hope always for aid of weather, and I trust this lesson will not be lost. The enemy's fleet and land force are at Morehead City an Beaufort. This is definitely ascertained.

Very respectfully,

W. H. C. WHITING,

Major-General.

[First indorsement.]

JANUARY 8, 1865.

Respectfully submitted for the consideration of the President.

J. A. SEDDON,

Secretary.

[Second indorsement.]

JANUARY 14, 1865.

SECRETARY OF WAR:

Instructions have been given as to use of torpedoes, &c. The proposition within might be advantageously referred to General Bragg.

[JEFFERSON DAVIS].