War of the Rebellion: Serial 109 Page 0828 Chapter LXIII. MD., E. N. C., PA., VA., EXCEPT S. W., & W. VA.

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Richmond, March 5, 1864.

Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON, Secretary of War:

SIR: I am convinced that the absence of lights at the entrances of Cape Fear River is among the most fatal causes of the frequent losses of vessels engaged in blockade running to Wilmington; and I therefore submit for your consideration the following propositions, and if approved, I will ask your co-operation to carry them into effect. I propose to place a competent naval officer in charge of the following duties, viz: To establish and preserve in good order and regular operation sufficient seaward lilghts on Bald Head and the mound and at such other points as he may deem proper; to determine from time to time changes in the depth of water of the entrances of the river; to establish sailing directions, day and night signals; give certificates of character and ability to pilots, and to establish port regulations not inconsistent with the rights of the State; and lastly, to aid in saving life and property from stranded vessels. To effect these objects, I propose that fifty good men, and watermen if possible, be detailed from the army for service with this officer, together with such number of men, not exceeding twenty-five, as he my require to superintend the lights and signals, and that the military officers in command be directed to extend to the enterprise and to the work such aid as may be consistent with their duties.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Secretary of the Navy.


MARCH 9, 1864.


The lights proposed have, it is believed, been established, but if it is thought necessary to put in charge of them, and the other duties mentioned, a naval officer, co-operation will be ordered on the part of the military commanders. If, when prepared to proceed, notice be given the Adjutant-General, on the presentation of this indorsement, the requisite orders will be given.

J. A. S.,




Raleigh, N. C., March 8, 1864.

Honorable J. A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War, Richomond, Va.:

SIR: I call your attention to the inclosed copy of a letter from the agent of the Navy Department to my agent in wilmington. Is it possible that such an unblushing outrage is intended by the Government? I have no comment to make on such a proceeding further than that I will fire the ship before I will agree to it.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


[First indorsement.]

MARCH 12, 1864.

Respectfully referred to the Honorable Secretary of the Navy to exhibit the spirit in which it is feared the new regulations may be met by parties interested, backed, unfortunately, in some saces, by the Governors of States.

J. A. S[EDDON,] Secretary.