[Inclosure Numbers 2.]
WILMINGTON, September 28, 1864.
Honorable S. R. MALLORY,
Secretary of the Navy:
I see no prospect of geting off at the proper time. The Edith has received so far fifty tons of English coal and requires fifty more. The Tallahassee requires 200 tons of English coal. The Owl has been exempted.
[Inclosure Numbers 3.]
WILMINGTON, September 30, 1864.
Honorable S. R. MALLORY:
Yours of yesterday received. the authorities did not see fit to take coal from certain steamers. General Whiting ordered coal from the Owl to be transferred to the navy. Assistant Secretary of War telegraphed General Whiting to impress coal for the Owl, whereupon the general stopped the delivery of the Owl's coal and allowed her to proceed is no prospect of obtaining a sufficiency of coal for the Tallahassee in time for this moon I propose going out alone. Will be ready to-morrow. Will not sail till I receive answer.
Wilmington, October 2, 1864.
Captain JOHN WILKINSON,
Commanding C. S. Steamer Chickamauga:
CAPTAIN: I have received your dispatch of this date relative to the sssailing of the expedition under your command. In reply, I have to say that I have as yet received no answer either from the War of Navy Department, or from General Lee, to my urgent request to stop the expedition at tthis time and place it on duty to aid in the defense of this port. I have therefore to request that, unless you have positive and peremptory orders, you will not proced to sea until I do hear; of that I shall of course inform you at once. If you have such orders please to let me know, and be assured tthat I take upon myself all the responsibility in this matter, as I should not hesitate if necessary, in my opinion, to prevent the ships from sailing.
I am, very respectfully,
W. H. C. WHITING,
STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,
Raleigh, October 3, 1864.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
DEAR SIR: I have received a recent letter from Major General W. H. C. Whiting, suggesting that the sending to sea of the Confederate steamers Tallahassee and Chickamauga, now fitting out at Wilmington, would only excite the enemy to increase the number of the blockading squadron to such an extent as to render it almosst impossible for vessels