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[7] before leaving the front of the town. The enemy were thoroughly routed and demoralized.

I hope, Major, the General will not think it was on account of statements made them con cerning the position and strength of the enemy, forI assure you I found matters more favorable than I expected. The work could have been done, and still can be accomplished. I have recruited my brigade somewhat since I have been in the State, and I am sanguine about increasing it a good deal. My men are in good health and fine spirits. The troops do not look upon our campaign as a failure, as the real object was not known to them, and the capture of several rich camps pleased them wonderfully. General Pickett has, no doubt, reported the extent of our captures. The two three-inch steel rifled pieces, with horses and equipments, were a valuable prize.

I have put (95) ninety-five carpenters and mechanics and (50) fifty laborers from my command, to work on the gunboat, and they will soon have it completed. The material I have made arrangements to have brought forward, and by the first of March I hope to have both of the iron-clads ready for work, with which there can be no doubt of success.

In the meantime I will remain here, where I have already made my men comfortable, and push forward the work, and at the same time give the boat protection, which is absolutely necessary. Major Wharton, who has been acting as staff officer, will be able to answer all questions.

There is no doubt of success in this undertaking, and we cannot and must not stop.

Very respectfully, yours, &c.,

R. F. Hoke, Brigadier-General. Major Taylor, A. A. G.

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