prevent his ascending the river to that point. In their communication there are certain points indicated where batteries might be erected which would command the river in both directions. If I had the means at my disposal I would at once put the river in a state of defense, but I have neither cannon nor artillerists to spare. I will send an engineer, if one can be found, to determine upon the most defensible points, and will do whatever else is in my power to protect that section of the State. In the meantime I must beg that in case Roanoke Island should fall into the hands of the enemy, upon the first news of it reaching Richmond at least a light battery be at once sent to Halifax, to which point I will send the only troops at my disposal, viz, a regiment of infantry, in case it becomes necessary. Please let me know what re-enforcements I may expect in case the enemy attacks New Berne, or Roanoke Island falls into their hands. Our last advices from Portsmouth represent the enemy as having about thirty vessels in the sound at Hatteras yesterday. No movement made as yet. A Massachusetts regiment was camped on Ocracoke Island. Had gone there either by design or been driven ashore in the last storm. Two regiments are said to be still missing.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. C. GATLIN,
RICHMOND, January 31, 1862.
General J. E. JOHNSTON,
Commanding, &c., Manassas, Va.:
SIR: Your letter of the 28th instant* has been submitted to the Secretary of War, who instructs me in reply to express to you his regret that you appear for reasons conceded to arise from your convictions of what is best, but in which he is constrained to differ with you indisposed to aid in at once carrying into effect the General Orders, No. 2, for recruiting the Army. The Secretary thinks you must have overlooked the fact that I will be far better to push the business of recruiting in the little time now left, leaving it to the Government to devise means for arming the men when they are secured, than by delay to run the risk of having few or none to use the arms that may be in our possession. A copy of the order is here inclosed+ and it is hoped you will do all in your power to render it effective of the ends proposed.
I am, sir, very respectfully, &c.,
Adjutant and Inspector General.
HEADQUARTERS EIGHTH VIRGINIA CAVALRY, Mercer Court-House, February 3, 1862.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: I have just received the inclosed note from Lieutenant-Colonel Peters, of the Forty-fifth Virginia Regiment, and in reply to it I directed him to send four companies of his regiment to Salt Sulphur Springs to support Colonel Reynolds, if it was possible to do so. The distance from Peterstown, the headquarters of the Forty-fifth Regiment, to the Salt Sulphur is twenty-eighty miles, and the roads are so
*See VOL. V, p.1049.
+See VOL. V, p.1022.