Wilmington, January 3, 1865.
Lieutenant Jones is to place a submarine wire for telegraph communication. It will start from the left of the land front at any convenient traverse, and go straight over the shoals to Battery Lamb, or a convenient point just above the battery not exposed to the effect of fire directed on that work. From Fort Fisher to the water it will be laid in a trench, well covered. This trench will be continued over the shoals at low tide, and especially through oyster-beds, and will be marked by a line of stout stakes, extending to four feet water and placed fifty yards apart. Large, jagged pieces of shell suitable for sinkers will be collected and piled on the Pinhead chiefly, though some may be collected at the point of the departure. Please to have this preliminary work attended to, and to aid Lieutenant Jones all in your power. The stakes should be stout pine poles, with the bark left on. The wire has been sent to Battery Buchanan to be secured with rope. You had better rent a shanty for the telegraph office near to the bombproof, keeping it outside until action requires.
W. H. C. WHITING,
RICHMOND, VA., January 4, 1865.
Honorable C. G. MEMMINGER,
Flat Rock, N. C.:
MY DEAR SIR: Your letter of November 21 was received, and I learn with concern the unhappy condition of western North Carolina. Many of the evils mentioned by you were not unknown to me heretofore, but the confirmation received from you of these evils pains me deeply, and the outrages and depredations enumerated call for means of repression. The force of General Martin is the only available one. It consists of troops under Colonel Palmer, Thomas' Legion, and home militia. Thomas' Legion, now being recruited, it is hoped will be able to afford sufficient aid to disperse or capture the bands infesting that district. Should circumstances allow the South Carolina Reserves will assist in the work. General Lee has given instructions to General Breckinridge to render all the aid he can, and it is possible that he may be able to spare a detachment ot act in concert with General Martin on the Tennessee side of the mountains. General Lee will give the matter his further attention, and no means will be spared to afford protection to the loyal people of western North Carolina.
Very truly, your friend,
WAR DEPARTMENT, ENGINEER BUREAU,
Richmond, Va., January 4, 1865.
General BRAXTON BRAGG,
Commanding Department of North Carolina, Wilmington, N. C.:
GENERAL: I am in receipt of your letter of 29th ultimo*, asking for an officer of engineers, of experience, skill, and energy, to be ordered to serve at the headquarters of the Department of North Carolina. I
*See Vol. XLII, Part III, p. 1345.