boats suitable for transports from Baltimore to Portland had been chartered or pressed into service, with orders to report at Fortress Monroe.
JULY 27, 1864.
Colonel W. H. TAYLOR:
COLONEL: I have delayed answering the general's letter of the 20th because, after I had made the necessary inquiries, &c., the movements of the enemy at Deep Bottom put a stop to other operations. The general asked for my opinion in regad to the batteries on the river. I cannot locate the heavy guns in one night with the means here at present. Our experiments so far show that wooden gun-boats can be driven away by the 20-pounder Parrotts, and that they, with the field batteries, stop the naiigation of the river for everything but ironfield batteries, stop the navigation of the river for everything but ironclads. The latter have entirely failed to injure our guns when protected by slight earth-works. If, therefore, the field batteries are protected by such force as can be spared, the navigation of the river can be so interfered with as to require the enemy to seek other routes or bring enough infantry to drrive us away. After the batteries are in operation heavy guns could be brought into position (but this is not important), or torpedoes can be placed where the iron-clads would locate themselves. Gary's command would answer to locate the batteries when they commenced; Conner's two brigades could be used in addition. Iif circumstances permit this to be tried, I would ask that Colonel Talcott, with his engineer regiment, now at Chaffin's, be allowed to assist in throwing up the works. Ii would use, in conjunction with the field artillery, an 8-inch howitzer from the fortifications around Richmond. The most suitabel point (after consultation with General Gilmer and others convenient with the river), I think, would be Wilcox's. There are roads leading directly back toward the Chickahominy, giving safe routes for taking off the guns, if necessary.
R. S. EWELL,
Wilmington, July 28, 1864.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War, Richmond:
SIR: I have at length ascertained that at least two-thirds of the conscripts employed at the State salt-works are members of the treasonable organization styled "Heroes of America." Their mode of communicating with the enemy is also ascertained. I am now waiting only to detect some of them in overt acts. Ii have many times called attention on suspicion to this nest of traitors in my lines, and to the fact