First. The Fiftieth North Carolina Infantry, belonging to Kirkland's brigade, was carried by me in November to South Carolina. It should be reunited to its proper command as soon as possible.
Second. The Tenth North Carolina Battalion of Hebert's command, Defenses of Mouth of Cape Fear, is also detached under same orders. The ten companies of Thirty-sixth and Fortieth Regiments, same command, detached at the same time, have returned, but not in time to appear on this return. Shober's regiment, North Carolina Senior Reserves, is also absent from its brigade in South Carolina, under the same circumstances. Discipline and efficiency will be prompted by a reunion of these commands.
Third. Companies D and E, Seventh Confederate Cavalry, relieved by the Second South Carolina Cavalry, have just been ordered to Virginia. This would have been sooner done but for the many unexpected changes here and the nature of recent operations.
Fourth. Two companies unattached North Carolina troops, ordered here from Salisbury, N. C., have never arrived, and no report has been received from them. If these and other floating companies could be assembled, consolidated, and efficient field officers appointed it would add greatly to their efficiency.
Fifth. It is found that three companies complete and part of three other companies, Tenth North Carolina Regiment, ar serving by detachments in this department. The other four companies and small detachments from the three, whose rolls, books, &c., ar here, are reported to me as serving with the Army of Northern Virginia. A concentration of this regiment for reason already stated is most desirable. Being instructed as heavy artillery it would be of great service on the Roanoke, where we are very deficient in that arm.
Sixth. The Junior Reserves have been concentrated into one brigade in General Baker's district. With a good brigadier they would soon make good and efficient troops but for the unfortunate law requiring the election of officers. The sad disaster by which we lost 150, surrendered near Fort Fisher, resulted from this cause. It is a great weakness in the organization and a practical cruelty to the youths. The Senior Reserves will be concentrated in Whiting's district. They should also have a good brigade commander.
Seventh. A good commander for all the light artillery is much needed. That want was well supplied by Lieutenant-Colonel Read, but his disability, from the unfortunate loss of an arm in the action of the 25th, when the enemy landed near Fort Fisher,deprives me of his services. Major Blount, lately of Read's or Dearing's battalions, has been mentioned to me as suitable. This organization is exceedingly defective and inefficient, and can only be brought into condition by vigorous administration.
Eighth. Colonel C. H. Simonton, Twenty-fifth South Carolina Regiment, now commanding Fort Caswell, is much needed with his d regiment, which as no field officer present. General Walker has not relieved Colonel Gaillard, at Weldon, and I have no suitable officer to take Colonel Simonton's place.
Ninth. There are a number of unattached and unassigned officer in this department, unnecessary for it administration, who ought to be more usefully employed, as they are young and able-bodied.
Tenth. I found in the department many detached men serving in various capacities, mostly on fancy duty. A general order required all belonging to commands beyond the department to be sent to their com-