Item description: Clerk’s copy of a letter, dated 19 August 1862, from Captain E.W. Ward to Col. Collett Leventhorpe, colonel of the 11th North Carolina (and in charge of the defenses for the District of Wilmington).
August 19 1862
The Enemy have made but little advance since my last. They have burned and destroyed the salt works on the Sound, destroyed corn & pillaging as they go, they have seven steam gun boats & transports in the Sound & White Oak River, they are 2000 strong in Swansboro six pieces of field artillery, the force upon their Boats I don’t know. Their Cavalry have not yet crossed White Oak River, they told a citizen yesterday evening that they were coming around in Gun Boats to New River on high tide to day, this may, or may not be so, they are threatening to burn the Mills. I am taking the horses & mules out of their way & shall mount my men on them & receipt for them, and am hauling a lot of pork to Catharine Lake, am I doing right? I have men watching them closely, may go down until they can see them. My man that I had feared had deserted has come in all right. They have taken one of mine a prisoner, If possible send me some artillery, if only two pieces, and if you remain in Wilmington send the express men to Golden Place to meet mine. My horses are badly used up.
9 oclock a.m.
(signed) E. W. Ward