at different points to keep us out. I have no doubt I could go up when I please, but there is no object in doing so. The rebels would only burn and destroy everything, and after their panic is over they may think it best to save the cotton until your coming, which at present they know nothing about. In the meantime I am maneuvering to make them believe we are going to attack them, and keep them on the alert, adding to present works and building others. We have a strong double line of defense across the neck, where stands Fort Fisher. This line is three miles from the fort and protected by about thirty gun-boats, with heavy guns. Bragg talks of retaking the fort. I hope he may try it. I have made arrangements for your transports, when they come here, to go to Smithville and await your coming in. In case the Cape Fear River is obstructed (which it is) you can immediately get supplies from Smithville. There is a good road leading out to about where you will come in. General Grant said he would send provisions for you to Beaufort, N. C. I keep vessels there, and have directed the officer in command to have them ready to send here at a moment's notice. They can be here in twenty-four hours from the time I send for them. There will be enough here for a small portion of your troops. I have dispatch-boats along the coast to bring tidings of your approach, and there is one at Georgetown, where I suppose some of your folks will drop in to tea.
I think the rebels are fortifying this and Wilmington, thinking that Terry is going to advance, and they have assembled here, all told, about 10,000 men, all of whom you will gobble up (together, with their Artillery) when you come. The chart, on tracing paper, which I sent you, is correct up to the 1st of this month. We are having dreadful cold weather here. I hope you don't feel it, although your boys don't mind it much.
Hoping soon to see you along this way, when I will stop to shake hands with you, and then taken a run home for a few days, I remain, sincerely and truly yours.
DAVID D. PORTER.
WAR DEPT., ADJT. GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 45.
Washington, January 28, 1865.
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32. By direction of the President, Bvt. Colonel O. M. Poe, U. S. Army, is hereby assigned to duty, with pay and emoluments according to his brevet rank, from January 13, 1865.
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By order of the Secretary of War:
E. D. TOWNSEND,
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Pocotaligo, January 28, 1865.
Commanding Right Wing:
GENERAL: Yours of yesterday came at night. If Easton did not give vessels to carry Logan's mules it was not a most excellent reason -that he did not have them. Slocum reports that he had ordered Davis to move on the 25th, and he should reach Sister's Ferry to-day; the rear can close on him whilst he lays his bridge. Slocum was to go