high and proper motives, I have concluded to intrude my advice, and beg you to accept.
Although all acknowledge that you should have been promoted long ago; still, we must make sacrifices for our common country and cause.
In common with many officers and citizens, I much desire you to be sent to us, for the command of the district of Charleston.
We will have additional troops soon, and may expect a Major-General to command the whole.
It adds to the force of this letter to remember that its writer was then senior Brigadier-General commanding at Charleston
He was called now to the defence of Wilmington
, proceeding to his post of duty in November, 1862.
A week afterwards he writes the General Commanding
My first, and last request will be for troops.
Not less than 10,000 effective men should be collected as soon as possible, with five or six field batteries.
The peculiar features of the site make the presence of a strong manoeuvreing force, in addition to the stationary batteries, indispensable.
The importance of Wilmington
, the only port practicable for use by Confederates, it is impossible to set forth to those unacquainted with the straits of the Confederacy
It was the mouth of the Confederate States
, and when it was closed, arms, ammunition, food, clothing, medicines, machinery and supplies of every character were cut off. To lose it was to receive a fatal blow—a wound which must endanger the life of Lee
It was difficult of defence—easy to attack by one or more of a number of routes.
Situated twenty-five miles from the fortifications at the nearest mouth of the Cape Fear
, it was yet only about six miles from points on the coast, where a landing might be effected.
Assailable not only here, and at the mouth of the river, by way of Oak Island
, below Caswell
, and an expedition via Southport
, or by march from Kingston
, the enemy's cavalry having occupied the line as far as New Hope, in Onslow
; or, again, by attack upon Caswell
or Fort Fisher
Its preservation was a source of deep anxiety.
It was in fact, the second capital of the Confederacy
Here the wharves were lined with the swift, narrow, smoke-colored, blockade-running steamships taking away cotton and bringing supplies.
Men of all nationalities were upon these, and possibly spies.
The beautiful snow-white ensign of the South
, with the battle-flag of the troops for its union, fluttered from the Chickamauga
and other vessels of