we are to be the sufferers by it. I have twice telegraphed in
regard to arms for Leventhorpe's regiment. The last reply says "the subject has been brought to the attention of the Secretary of War." More than ten days ago I wrote to the Adjutant-General, drawing his attention to the condition of our defenses, and begging that a reserve force be sent here to be sent to the point attacked. To this I have received no reply. It is very discouraging, and I see plainly that North Carolina has to fight her own battles notwithstanding the large force she has sent to Virginia, South Carolina, and Tennessee. If we are invaded there is nothing for it but that we turn out to a man and drive off the invader. I will send you Colonel Leventhorpe's regiment as soon as it is armed. In the meantime, if you have not already done so, I would advise that all the arms of deceased soldiers and those absent for a probably long period be collected and kept ready to arm the regiment should it be necessary to send them down before their arms arrive from Richmond. In regard to the battery at Huggins' island, It is now too late to do anything before we are certain of the destination of Burnside's expedition. Should that pass us by I will take the subject under consideration. Yesterday General Branch reported that information had been received from persons from Portsmouth that there were forty-two steamers and three sail vessels a Hatteras; that they had been arriving for the last ten days, and that most of them had arrived on or before Saturday last. This was before the reported sailing of the fleet of thirty-five vessels from Fort Monroe. I don't know what to think of all this. If it be true, they intend to attack our whole Sound coast. Before attempting New Berne in that way, I am clearly of opinion that they must reduce Roanoke Island. I wish you to draw the attention of your mustering officer to the necessity of inspecting the troops to be mustered into service. Yesterday two boys of very tender age came here sick from Captain Munn's company. They were too young and of too little physical power to do duty, hence I ordered their discharge from the service. General Branch has just sent me the inclosed sketch* of the mode adopted by him at New Berne to block the channel. He reports no news from the coast.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. C. GATLIN,
Jamestown, January 19, 1862.
Captain Henry BRYAN,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Headquarters, Yorktown:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the reception of your communication of the 17th instant conveying the reply of the general commanding to my remarks concerning the defense of this post. After a respectful consideration of Major-General Magruder's views, I beg leave to offer the following suggestions: I do not think it is sound policy to underrate the importance of the defenses at Jamestown Island. In the first place, I would bring to Major-General Magruder's attention the moral effect upon the enemy who, knowing that there was a heavy battery at this post, would be less likely to attempt to force a passage up the river, to land above Jamestown, and get in the rear of Major-General Magruder's army on the Peninsula. If Jamestown were dismantled, and the enemy successful in passing the batteries at Mulberry Point, James River would be liable to be laid waste and the