ing for it, especially as regard clothing which is not furnished, although I think that the act of Congress directs it. Much hardship and exposure has resulted.
I send you a reply* of Captain James to your telegraphic dispatch. You will perceive that the force present for works so extensive is very limited; on account of insufficient clothing it seldom exceeds 600 for duty, all told, and distributed at Bald Head, Fisher, Oak Island, Smithville, and the city. This includes also all timber-cutters, millhands, and flatboatmen, all essential to the general business for the department, so that the laboring force required to put up works is altogether too small.
I send copies of notes* to Governor Vance and Colonel Mallett. There is some work at Fort Fisher, especially of great importance, which requires an immediate supply of not less than 500, but where our how to get it I do not know. I have tried in South Carolina without success. Here there is great opposition to sending negroes to work on the defenses, and sine the late repulse of the any this feeling will increase, as many persons think there is no need of doing any more work.
W. H. C. WHITING,
P. S.-Desertions are constant, and I have no doubt that their owners encourage it, especially when the negro has been impressed. Some very severe example, such as trial by court-martial and shooting, is necessary.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
Wilmington, January 9, 1865.
Major General W. H. C. WHITING,
Commanding Third District, Wilmington:
GENERAL: I am instructed by the commanding general to say, is reply to your note of January 7, that he does not deem it proper at this time to detach a brigade of Hoke's division, as you suggest, for work on the fortification near Smithville.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WILMINGTON, January 9, 1865.
Kinston or Goldsborough:
Scout reports re-enorcements, 2,500 negroes, at New Berne, and raid on railroad at Warsaw contemplated; also, another attack here. General Bragg desires you to be on the alert and concentrate all movable force as near Goldsborough, on the railroad, as possible to be ready for orders. Procure immediately three bales of cotton and wagon transportation to enemy's lines-one to be paid for by party calling, others to be used in secret service. Instructions will be sent.