War of the Rebellion: Serial 109 Page 0046 , PA., VA., EXCEPT S. W., & W. VA. Chapter LXIII.

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very few hogs have been slaughtered. To meet the exigency I have resolved to make the experiment of transporting by canoes provisions from near Peterstown to this place. I believe it is entirely practicable to do so. I learn that the people in this vicinity, and ten or fifteen miles below this point, have been in the habit of transporting their salt in this way from the Mercer Salt Wells. I have ordered two canoes to be prepared, each forty feet in length. Each of these will bear from 2,000 to 2,500 pounds. If the experiment succeeds each canoe will bring to this point ten barrels of flour. The trip can be made from Pack's Ferry to Shanklin's Ferry (five miles from Peterstown) and back in less than two days. Such transportation, if practicable to this point, will be equally so as far as Richmond or Bowyer's Ferry, not more than twelve miles from the junction of Gauley and New Rivers, and may be easily and quickly increased to any extent, thus removing a leading difficulty in the way of concentrating a force in this portion of the State. I would here take the liberty of calling your attention to the advisability of having some general and controlling head to the forces at present in Western Virginia. I have been unofficially informed that Colonel Heth has been assigned to the command of the forces here. If this be so I think the public interest would be subserved by having him present. The force (three regiments, Forty-fifth, Twenty-second, and Eighth Cavalry) would justify, if it does not demand it. I make this suggestion, not because of any lack of co-operation between myself and Colonel Jenifer, but because I think the force here (part of which is not subject to his command, Twenty-second Regiment) if concentrated and properly directed might be made effective otherwise than as a defensive one. I have not been able to learn the exact strength of the enemy at Raleigh Court-House. From all I have been able to gather, I am inclined to the opinion that it does not exceed 600.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Forty-fifth Virginia Regiment.



Brigadier General L. O'B. BRANCH,

Commanding Forces, &c., New Berne, N. C.:

GENERAL: Your two letters of the 4th instant were received yesterday, but too late to be answered. I, however, read, and returned Major Hall's letter. I do not know from whom I received my idea of Hyde County; probably from "a very reliable citizen of North Carolina." I regret that we have not a sufficient force to spare a part for that county. If you have received the 5,000 pounds of powder referred to in the inclosed dispatch you will have an ample supply for the submarine batteries and all other purposes about New Berne, and might add a little to the supply at Fort Macon. In case the 5,000 pounds has been received I would by all means load and plant the submarine batteries. If but one is successfully exploded it will strike more teror into our enemies than all the other batteries put together. It is hidden danger that people most fear.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, commanding.