War of the Rebellion: Serial 108 Page 0305 Chapter LXIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.

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reliable state of defense. Our only want now is found in the deficiency of good officers and men. General J. R. Anderson, who has been assigned to our coast, appears to inspire our people with much confidence. Our fear is that as General Galtin, to whom he was to report for duty, had made it incumbent on him to superintend the whole range of the fortifications of our long coast, it would ne impossible for him to give sufficient attention to the more exposed localities. We have no means of direct communication between the different points of defense on our coast, and much more time is lost in traveling from place to place than is given to actual supervision. We think that one or two more active and energetic generals would be found veru serviceable. By dividing our coast into three departments under the common superintendence of General Galtin everything would go on much better. To show your Execellency the propriety of this step I will mention this fact, that although Fort Macon is only seventy miles distant east from Fort Caswell, it would require two days for an officer to pass from one post to another; and when at Fort Macon and required to go to Roanoke Island, unless he had command of the sound, it would take him near three days to perform the trip. This diifficulty of transpotration must make it manifest that one officer cannot give his attention to such a long line of defense. We will not know at what point we will be assailed until the attack is made. I am fully aware that in the selection of military officers of high rank great scrutiny should be made into their qualification, and hence, pretending to no military knowledge, it is with much diffidence I would suggest to Your Excellency, if in your opinion our defenses requilre an additional appointment of brigadier - generals, the names of Colonel J. G. Martin and Colonel Gaston Meares. The former, a graduate of West Point, has been long and honorably distinguished in the service of the old Federal Army. The latter, Colonel Meares, not a graduate, but a cadet of West Point, served with credit in the Mexican war, and since the commencement of our present difficulties has had the command of Third Regiment North Carolina State Troops. From the high opinion expressed of his qualificaton by General Holmes, in whose division he had been serving, I feel assured that if you should appoint him he would not disappoint the expectations of his friends. Respecting an increase of the forces in North Carolina, our people concur in the propriety of your not withdrawing forces from Virginia. We think if arms can be procured in a short time we can organize a force sufficient for our defense. But on this subject I will make this suggestion: Colonel Clingman has under his command a regiment recruited in the mountains of North Carolina. They are unaccustomed to the sea coast, and hence will be most exposed to sickness if moved down to our low, malarious country. Would it not be advisable to order them into Virginia and send in their place any regiment recruited from the sea coasts? If this suggestion should meet with your favorable consideration I would propose that the exchange be made with First Regiment North Carolina Volunteers. They are recruited for six months only, and their time of enlistment will expire in a few weeks. Would it not be advisable to send them back to North Carolina for home defense? If this were done I cannot believe that many of them would refuse to re - enlist. indeed, I feel satisfied that nearly all of them would re -enlist to serve during the war for the defense of the State.

With great respect,

W. S. ASHE.

20 R R - VOL LI, PT II