HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA, Goldsborough, February 21, 1862.
Brigadier General L. O'B. BRANCH,
Commanding Forces, &c., New Berne:
GENERAL: I have examined the Yankee accounts of the fights at Roanoke Island and Fort Donelson, and am satisfied that in both instances their gun-boats were beaten off by the batteries. At neither place did they silence a battery. This ought to be made known to our troops. I have seen a dispatch from the operator at Petersburg which makes the disaster at Fort Donelson a dear-bouth victory to the Yankees. He says they describe their killed and wounded as terribly large; count them by acres; say not companies or regiments but brigades were cut to pieces. Grant that it may be so. The enemy landed at Winton yesterday, but were driven to their boats by Colonel Solomon Williams' regiment; no other particulars. The two companies of cavalry seem to be much required on the Roanoke, where much disaffection seems to exist. I hope you can spare either the two companies named or two others, and will send them with dispatch.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. C. GATLIN,
HOUSE OF DELEGATES, February 24, 1862.
SIR: I am instructed by the committee appointed under the inclosed resolution to inquire at what hour to-morrow it will be convenient to receive them.
Resolved, That a special committee be appointed to ascertain from the Confederate Executive in what way the General Assembly of Virginia can most efficiently co-operate with and aid the Confederate authorities not only in strengthening the defenses of the city of Richmond but in report with as little delay as practicable.
Agreed to by House of Delegates February 24, 1862.
WM. F. GORDON, Jr.,
Clerk House of Delegates.
Committee: Messrs. Barbour, Hunter, Newton, Edmunds, Wynne, Forbes, and Tomlin.
CAMP FISHER, February 24, [1862.]
[Major General S. G. FRENCH:]
MY DEAR GENERAL: Consult with Chatard and other navy officers and ascertain their opinion as to wehter your guns can be moved by water either by the PAGE or by boats to Aquia Creek, and let me know at once. General J. wishes to know.
Very truly, yours,