been sunk, but owing to the nature of the bottom they soon disappear. I recommend for an obstruction rows of cirbs filled with stone, echeloned across the river, only sufficiently far a Part to allow free vent to the current. If stone cannot be had readily, then drive in the same manner piles in bunches of four, sawing them below the low-water mark. No submarine batteries have yet been placed, though some are ready. The batteries covering the water approaches, as far so I am able to judge, are well placed and admirably constructed. But the great want, the absolute necessity of the place, if it is to be held against a naval attack, is heavy guns, larger caliber. With over 100 guns bearing upon the water, there is but one 10-inch, no 9-inch, and but few 8-inch; 24s and 32s from the armement of most of the batteries. Fort Fisher, at New Inlet, is a series of sand and plametto works, which with proper wight of metal, could defy any water attack. Fort Caswell, much weaker, is in a transmition state; the masonry as far as possible is being covered with sand, and on two faces of the work an inclined shield covered with railroad iron and sand-bags is being erected. The steamer Cornubia, on her second trip, has just left for Bermuda, and this morning the Giraffe returned safely. There is a perfect accord between the military and naval commanders; both are working spirit.
Respectfully, &c., your obedient servnat,
J. TAYLOR WOOD.
MOUNT AIRY, N. C., February 19, 1863*.
His Excellency Governor VANCE,
Raleigh, N. C.:
DEAR SIR: In your answer to me in regard to depredations committed upon our citizens by Vriginia cavalry, I was requested to inform you if they were continued. I have reliable information of very recent acts of their, even more aggravating than any heretofore committed. Last night at the house of a Mrs. Maise, one of whose sons belongs to the Forty-fifth North Carolina Troops, now in service (a volunteer), they took and carried off a rifle gun belonging to him. At another place they tied and carried off an old man, a citizen of North Carolina, though of rather bad character. At another place, McBride's, a man who served in the army until he was discharged, they took his corn and lavishly poured in on the ground to their horses. Whetever they go they disarm people and destroy their substance. I fear they are encouraged to some extent by malicious men in the country. Please advise me what course to pursue. Corn is not only very scarce, but very night ($ 4 per bushel), and if what little the people have is taken from them they must necessarily suffer.
Your most humble and obedient servant,
[18.] Colonel Seventy-third Regiment North Carolina Militia.
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A.,
Richmond, February 20, 1863.
Major General S. G. FRENCH,
General, Commanding, &c.:
GENERAL: I have derived much satisfaction from your letter of the 12th+, and am gratified to see how fully you have realized and under-
* Accompanying Vance to Seddon, Febraury 25, 1863, VOL. XVIII, p. 895.
+ See VOL. XVIII, p. 874.