War of the Rebellion: Serial 096 Page 1165 Chapter LVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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Colonel Smith, of the Seventh Regiment House Guards, was directed several days ago to mount two of his companies and patrol the county of Brunswick. He will receive orders to report to you.

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ARCHER ANDERSON,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

GOLDSBOROUGH, January 30, 1865.

General BRAXTON BRAGG:

Just received from Mrs. Meeker:

SWIFT CREEK, NEAR NEW BERNE, January 29, 1865.

Two battalion leave New Berne for Wilmington Tuesday. Eleven gun-boats and one double-ender at New Berne. Expecting ram from Kinston. Sherman is re-enforced by Seventeenth and Nineteenth Corps, under Webster, Blair, Meagher, and Emory. They left Nashville 19th, via New York. Colonel Rochester commands troops at Wilmington. Sherman commands North Carolina. Is to take Charleston, then Augusta. Grant moved 1st of the month. General Palmer has been to Washington, D. C., and returned. He has 4,000 troops at New Berne.

L. S. BAKER,

Brigadier-General.

(Copy to General Lee.)

RICHMOND, VA., January 31, 1865.

General R. E. LEE,

Petersburg, Va.:

GENERAL: Yours of the 29th and 30th received. The reported withdrawal of troops from Thomas' army would indicate that General Beauregard had been mistaken as to the contemplated movement from the Tennessee River toward Mobile, and may relieve us of the anxiety felt for the condition in which that section would be left, when two corps were withdrawn from the Army of Tennessee. But it will hardly warrant a further reduction of the small force left with General Taylor, which, in addition to holding the remainder of Thomas' army in check, may have to re-enforce the garrison at Mobile, against which a large force is now said to be moving. I have not heard from General E. Kirby Smith in reply to my letter of last month, which again urged him to send all the troops he could spare to the east side of the river. Notwithstanding the considerations which were discussed at our last interview I have, under the state of facts communicated in your letter of the 30th this day received, sent to General Smith the following telegram in cipher:

RICHMOND, VA., January 31, 1865.

Since my last letter to you reiterating the proposition for you to send such force as you could spare to the east side of the Mississippi River, the enemy had continued to withdraw troops from the west to the east and is now moving a large force from Tennessee to Virginia. Under these circumstances I think it advisable that you should be charged with the military operations on both banks of the Mississippi River, and that you should endeavor, as promptly as possible to cross that river with as large a force as may be prudently withdrawn from your present department. Please answer immediately, that I may know what to expect.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

The Congress have not adopted any of those recommendations for increasing the strength of the army which I presented to them in the early days of November last, and I am not able to anticipate such action as will fulfill the hopes we then entertained. I would again suggest for consideration the policy of selecting suitable officers from