HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA, Goldsborough, February 13, 1862.
Brigadier General L. O'B. BRANCH,
Commanding, &c., New Berne, N. C.:
GENERAL: I regret that there should be occasion to change your assistant adjutant-general at this time. I do not think it practicable to get the appointment for Robinson with higher rank than that of major. As to a clerk or secretary, I have one in the adjutant-general's office about whom there seems to be some difficulty. The Quartermaster-General writes that it is not for his department to pay either him or the messenger, and the Adjutant-General will not reply to my letter of inquiry as to whose department the pay should be looked for. In regard to casemating the guns, I can see but one plan which could be adopted without making greater alterations than we can at present spare to time for. It would decrease the number of guns but add much to their efficiency, and each gun might be casemated separately, though as the work progresses it should be united. The plan is this: Let two rows of strong posts, say sixteen inches or more in diameter, be set in the ground about twenty feet apart, and a heavy plate placed on each row to give a support to the roof. Around these construct a traverse of sufficient thikcness to resist the enemy's shot. This traverse of itself might be sufficient to support the roof. The roof might be made of square timbers, as large as you could conveniently obtain - not less than sixteen or eighteen inches - laid parallel with the parapet; these covered with plank laid perpendicular to the logs, the joints battened and tarred over to prevent leaking, and all covered over with about eight feet of earth. Such a roof would be bomb-proof. The ceiling should be about two feet above the parapet, to give play to the gun. In consequence of the barbette carriages being used the embrasure could not be much reduced, as it would have to run from one traverse to the other. Though the plan does not offer perfect protection to the gunners it does protect them from the shells in a great degree. The outer or front long might be plated with iron - railroad - where exposed. I send a sketch,* but I am fearful you will neither understand the poor drawing nor worse description. If you could only get four guns thus casemated they would add greatly to your strength. I hope the breast-works for infantry are complete, and have their flanks protected by river and swamps, so that they cannot be turned. That is absolutely necessary. In regard to the enemy we know but little. I hera that much excitement exists in Richmond in consequence of his proximity to the railroads from Norfolk to Roanoke and the Roanoke bridges.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. C. GATLIN,
RALEIGH, N. C., Febrary 13, 1862.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
President of the Confederate States of America:
SIR: I am instructed by the convention of the people of North Carolina, now in session in this city, to inclose you the accompanying resolutions this day agreed to, and respectfully ask your early attention to the same.