SMITHVILLE, January 14, 1865 - 1.45 a. m.
General BRAXTON BRAGG:
Porter cannot come in now. The tide is turning. He cannot come in until at night. We hold Fisher. Sooner you attack the enemy the better.
W. H. C. WHITING,
SUGAR LOAF, January 14, 1865.
Enemy has extended across neck, left resting about two miles and a half above Fisher on river. Hoke is now moving on him. General Bragg wishes you to keep out some scouts well on your front, to give you information and look particularly to your flanks in case of assault.
FORT FISHER, January 14, 1865 - 1.30 p. m.
I send this boat, Cape Fear, to town for coal and wood, with the request that she return at once; she is necessary here for our communication. The game of the enemy is very plain to me. They are now furiously bombarding my land front; they will continue to do that, in order, if possible, to silence my guns until they are satisfied that their land force has securely established itself cross the neck and rests on the river; then Porter will attempt to force a passage by [sic] to co-operate worth the force that takes the river-bank. I have received dispatches from you stating that the enemy had extended to the river-bank. This they never should have been allowed to do; and if they are permitted to remain there the reduction of Fort Fisher is but a question of time. This has been notified heretofore frequently both to yourself and to the Department. I will hold this place till the last extremities; but unless you drive that land force from its position I cannot answer for the security of this harbor. The fire has been and continues to be exceedingly heavy, surpassing not so much in its volume as in its extraordinary condition even the fire of Christmas. The garrison is in good spirits and condition.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. H. C. WHITING,
SUGAR LOAF, January 14, 1865 - 2 p. m.
A brigade of 1,000 veteran infantry will be sent to you to-night. By the return of the transports General Bragg directs you send to Gander Hall Landing the six companies drawn from General Hebert. This will leave you, according to you own return, 2,100 effectives, as many as can be well employed at one time. Such changes can be nightly made as the physical condition of the men may require.