The enemy's ships of war are daily off Hatteras and indeed blockade our whole coast. The English man-of-war lies off Beaufort, to give safe exit to two British merchantmen loading there.
HDQRS. SOUTHERN DEPARTMENT, COAST DEFENSES,
Wilmington, N. C., July 17, 1861.
Honorable WARREN WINSLOW,
Secretary of Military Affairs, Raleigh, N. C.:
SIR: I shall be glad to receive the eleven 32-pounders, but the order to discontinue expenditures on account of the State will prevent their immediate use, as the batteries for which they were required have not been erected. Three of the batteries erected by General Whiting were not commenced when the engineer and his laborers were discharged. Besides these, two other batteries should be erected on the coast above Confederate Point Light, and this without delay. In order that you may understand the importance of these contemplated batteries I will explain. New Inlet is protected, one at Zeek's Island and the other at Confederate Point, on the opposite side of the channel. To prevent this latter from being turned by an enemy landing on the main I have established a camp for the Eighth Regiment of Volunteers near the head of the sound, about five miles from the light, and which is called Camp Wyatt. These troops are further intended to march against the enemy, should he land upon the banks; but as in that case to reach the mainland he would have to cross the sound it is not likely to be attempted. The coast for fifteen miles above Confederate Point officers great facilities for landing. In ordinary weather, and when the wind is westerly, the sea is smooth and there is little or no suft, while there are three fathoms of water within half a mile of the shore. By erecting a battery near Camp Wyatt and another some two miles and a half nearer Confederate Point the vessels of the enemy would be compelled to keep at least two miles from shore, and his landing would be rendered difficult, if not impossible. As it now stands he could run near enough to Camp Wyatt to fire a broadside into it. I hope you will agree with me that these two batteries ought to be erected at once. Should it be determined to do so, I must request that Captain Winder, who is now on recruiting service under the orders of Colonel Bradford, be directed to return here and resume the duties of chief engineer.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. C. GATLIN,
RALEIGH, July 22, 1861.
His Excellency Henry T. CLARK,
Governor of State of North Carolina:
GOVERNOR: I very respectfully beg leave to furnish you with a brief statement of what I communicated to you verbally on the 20th instant in regard to the troops, &c., on the Nothern Department of the Coast Defenses: First. The Seventh Regiment of twelve-months' volunteers has been assigned to this portion of the coast. Five companies are at Ocracoke Inlet, three at Hatteras Inlet, and three at Oregon Inlet. Second. In anticipation of their being mustered into service, which
13 R R-VOL LI, PT II.