War of the Rebellion: Serial 108 Page 0506 MD., E. N. C., PA., VA., EXCEPT S. W., & W. VA. Chapter LXIII.

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and advise you to decline to grant permission to persons applying for passports to leave the Confederate States, even to remain in Norfolk. The best course to pursue is to order them all away.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN,

Secretary of War.

[9.]

WILMINGTON, March 18, 1862.

Honorable GEORGE DAVIS:

Allow me, as salt commissioner of this State, to call the attention of Confederate authorities through you to the vital importance of defending this place. If our people are not supplied with salt this State is vanquished. Just as the State salt-works were about to be got into operation at the best locality on our coast, Currituck Sound, the expediture was lost and the work defeated by the unpardonable loss of Roanoke Island. Morehead City was the next best locality. The State works there were just beginning to produce salt and were in rapid course of enlargement when the fall of New Berne, through inadequate numbers of troops and incompetent commanders, cut of these works. Wilmington is the last chance. If the Government cannot or will not defend this place the bravest and most sanguine will give up all as lost. The State works here are now producing some forty bushels per day, and will be rapidly and greatly enlarged so as to produce 1,000 bushels per day if the place be defended. At all events, every effort will be made to produce at least this much. On the assumption that the Government will not allow the State to be sacrificed by the fall of Wilmington, no expense will be spared to push up the salt-works here. Individuals are making some 400 bushels per day ehre. if there be delay or an inadequate number of troops and incompetent commanders, as at New Berne and Roanoke Island, whereby we are cut off from salt, the railroad and arsenal at Fayetteville taken, our railroads and cottom factories stopped or rendered inefficient for want of the peanut oil manufactured at no other point, I think will be fatal to the Southern Confederacy.

Yours, very respectfully,

J. M. WORTH.

[9.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,

Goldsborough, March 19, 1862.

General S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector-General, Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL: In accordance with Special Orders, Numbers 60, I have turned over the command of this department to Brigadier General J. R. Anderson, C. S. Army, and await further orders from the War Department. My being relieved at this particular juncture would lead to the belief that it was done in consequence of the fall of New Berne. If such is the case, or if any blame is attached to me for our misfortunes in that quarter, I desire that an investigation be had at the earliest day practicable. Please reply at your earliest convenience.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. C. GATLIN,

Brigadier-General.

[9.]