Home Store Products Research Design Strategy Support News
 Research ACW US War Dept. Official Records HTML Ser. I, Vol. 9, Ch. XX–Union Correspondence.


January 11-August 20, 1862.
(Roanoke Island)


* Some correspondence had in 1861, relating to the preparation of this Burnside Expedition, will be found in Series III, Vol. I.


HEADQUARTERS COAST DIVISION, Annapolis, January 3, 1862.

The vessels for the transportation of this division are assigned to the different brigades, as follows:

To the First Brigade (Brig. Gen. J. G. Foster), New Brunswick, steamer; Vedette, propeller; New York, steamer; Zouave, propeller; Guide, steamer; Guerrilla, bark; Ranger, propeller; Highlander, schooner; Hussar, propeller; Recruit, schooner.

To the Second Brigade (Brig. Gen. J. L. Reno), Northerner, steamer; Kitty Stimpson, ship; Cossack, steamer; Ann E. Thompson, ship; Lancer, propeller; Dragoon, brig; Pioneer, propeller; Scout, schooner.

To the Third Brigade (Brig. Gen. J. G. Parke), Eastern Queen, steamer; Arrican, ship; Sentinel, propeller; H. D. Brookman, bark; Chasseur, propeller; Voltigeur, bark; John Trucks, ship; Skirmisher, schooner.

The troops will have three days’ cooked rations on hand, and be prepared to embark at twelve hours’ notice. Orders for the details of embarkation and quarters will be issued by the brigade commanders.

By command of Brig. Gen. A. E. Burnside:

LEWIS RICHMOND, Assistant Adjutant-General.



HEADQUARTERS COAST DIVISION, Annapolis, January 4, 1862.

1. General Foster will embark at the city wharf to-day and to-morrow the horses and teams of his brigade. The troops will be marched on board on Monday from the upper wharf at the Naval School yard.

2. General Reno will embark at the city wharf to-day and to-morrow the horses and teams of his brigade. The troops will be marched on board on Monday from the lower wharf at the Naval School yard.

3. General Parke will embark at the city wharf to-day and to-morrow the horses and teams of his brigade. The-troops will be marched on {p.352} board on Monday from the small wharf north of the hospital at the Naval School yard.

By command of Brig. Gen. A. E. Burnside:

LEWIS RICHMOND, Assistant Adjutant-General.


HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, January 7, 1862.

Brig. Gen. AMBROSE E. BURNSIDE, Commanding Expedition:

GENERAL: In accordance with verbal instructions heretofore given you, you will, after uniting with Flag-Officer Goldsborough at Fort Monroe, proceed under his convoy to Hatteras Inlet, when you will in connection with him take the most prompt measures for crossing the fleet into the “Bulkhead” into the waters of the sound. Under the accompanying general order, constituting the Department of North Carolina, you will assume the command of the garrison at Hatteras Inlet, and make such dispositions in regard to that place as your ulterior operations may render necessary, always being careful to provide for the safety of that very important station in any contingency.

Your first point of attack will be Roanoke Island and its dependencies. It is presumed that the Navy can reduce the batteries on the marshes and cover the landing of your troops on the main island, by which, in connection with a rapid movement of the gunboats to the northern extremity as soon as the marsh battery is reduced, it may be hoped to capture the entire garrison of the place.

Having occupied the island and its dependencies you will at once proceed to the erection of the batteries and defenses necessary to hold the position with a small force. Should the flag-officer require any assistance in seizing or holding the debouches of the canals from Norfolk, you will please afford it to him.

The commodore and yourself having completed your arrangements in regard to Roanoke Island and the waters north of it you will please at once make a descent upon New Berne, having gained possession of which and the railroad passing through it you will at once throw a sufficient force upon Beaufort, and take the steps necessary to reduce Fort Macon and open that port. When you seize New Berne you will endeavor to seize the railroad as far west as Goldsborough, should circumstances favor such a movement. The temper of the people, the rebel force at hand, &c., will go far toward determining the question as to how far west the railroad can be safely occupied and held. Should circumstances render it advisable to seize and hold Raleigh, the main north and south line of railroad passing through Goldsborough should be so effectually destroyed for considerable distances north and south of that point as to render it impossible for the rebels to use it to your disadvantage. A great point would be gained in any event by the effectual destruction of the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad.

I would advise great caution in moving so far into the interior as upon Raleigh. Having accomplished the objects mentioned the next point of interest would probably be Wilmington, the reduction of which may require that additional means shall be afforded you. I would urge great caution in regard to proclamation. In no case would I go beyond a moderate joint proclamation with the naval commander, which should {p.353} say as little as possible about politics or the negro. Merely state that the true issue for which we are fighting is the preservation of the Union and upholding the laws of the General Government, and stating that all who conduct themselves properly will as far as possible be protected in their persons and property.

You will please report your operations as often as an opportunity offers itself.

With my best wishes for your success, I am, &c.,

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, Commanding-in-Chief

P. S.-Any prisoners you take should be sent to the most convenient Northern post. You can, however, exchange any of them for any of your own men who may be taken.



HDQRS. OF THE ARMY, A. G. 0., Washington, January 7, 1862.

The State of North Carolina will hereafter constitute a separate military command, known as the Department of North Carolina under the command of Brigadier-General Burnside.

By command of Major-General McClellan:

L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General.



HDQRS. DEPT. OF NORTH CAROLINA, Hatteras Inlet, January 13, 1862.

In accordance with General Orders, No. 2, from the Headquarters of the Army I hereby assume command of the Department of North Carolina.

A. E. BURNSIDE, Brigadier-General, Commanding.


NAVY DEPARTMENT, January 18, 1862.

Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Commanding-in-Chief:

SIR: I inclose herewith copy of letter received from Commander Glisson, and by him from Lieutenant Braine, in relation to affairs at Wilmington, N. C.

Yours, very respectfully,

G. V. FOX, Assistant Secretary.


U. S. STEAMER MONTICELLO, Off Wilmington, N. C., January 5, 1862.

Commander OLIVER S. GLISSON, Senior Officer of Wilmington Blockade, U. S. S. Mount Vernon:

SIR: On December 30, 1861, two contrabands came off from the batteries {p.354} at New Inlet and they gave me the following information as regards the state of affairs here and up at Wilmington, N. C.:

At New Inlet in and about the fortifications (which consist of one battery of twelve guns, one earth casemate of six gulls, one small battery of three gulls, and one battery on Zeeke’s Island of four guns) there are stationed about one regiment and a half (1,400 men) also four field pieces, horse artillery. All the guns in these batteries are short 32-pounders. One of these contrabands, named Kent Newton, has worked for several years on the ferry-boats that cross the river at Wilmington. He says that on Friday, the 27th day of December, 1861, the steamer cordon or Theodore arrived at Wilmington from Cuba with a cargo of coffee and fruit, and that she was partially disabled, having been struck by a shot, passing through the wheel-house.

The crew of the Gordon or Theodore left on the 28th instant for Charleston, S. C., by land; he, Kent Newton, ferried them across the river. While crossing they told him that they left their guns at Charleston, S. C., before going to the West Indies, and that they sailed under the English flag.

There are very few soldiers at Wilmington. About the 25th of December, 1861, three regiments arrived from Manassas Junction per railroad. He also states about the middle of December the rebels towed down by steamer Uncle Ben four large heavy wooden cribs, diamond shape, about 40 or 50 feet wide and 12 feet deep, which they moved on the shoal and in the channel-way close together at the northwestern end of Zeeke’s Island, and filling three of them, as he saw, with rocks, sunk them, and completely blocked the channel of New Inlet at that point, and the fourth one they said was to be sunk alongside.

This man’s statement appears to be very correct. I have questioned him closely, given him the map to look at and had him mark exactly where these cribs were sunk, and admitting his statement is true (and he appears to be a very intelligent, active “nigger”), New Inlet is at least for the present effectively blockaded, as you will see by referring to a harbor chart of that place. During the month of November that we blockaded this place we frequently saw a small steam-tug come past Zeeke’s Island out in time channel-way to the [eastward] toward the outer bar, where she would lay under the cover of the batteries.

During this period of our blockade in the months of December and January, covering a period of over three weeks, although we have seen the same steamer repeatedly in Wilmington River and on the western side of Zeeke’s Island, she has never come to the eastward of Zeeke’s Island or in the outer channel-way, as she did during the month of November. This fact has been the subject of comment among the officers, and now that we are aware of the fact that these cribs have been sunk in the channel at Zeeke’s Island, I know that it is an impossibility for her to pass or any other vessel drawing 9 feet of water. I make this statement for your information.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. L. BRAINE, Lieutenant, Commanding U. S. S. Monticello.



Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Commanding U. S. Army, Washington:

GENERAL: I beg leave to give you herewith a report of our progress {p.355} thus far. We left our anchorage at Annapolis on Thursday, the 9th instant, and after a protracted passage, owing to dense fogs, arrived at. Fort Monroe Friday night at 12 o’clock.

Leaving Fort Monroe on Saturday at 10 p.m. we proceeded at once to sea, but owing to fogs on Sunday and Sunday night our progress was very slow.

Monday, the 13th, the weather cleared; but a very heavy wind and rough sea caused many of our vessels to labor very heavily, and some were obliged to cut loose from the vessels they were towing. Most of them, however, came over the bar and anchored inside the harbor about 12 m. on the 13th, just in time to escape the severe gale of Monday night and Tuesday.

The propeller City of New York ran onto the bar at the entrance to the harbor, and owing to the severe weather and want of small boats we could render her no assistance. She was laden with supplies and ordnance stores, and both vessel and cargo have proved a total loss.

I had been led to suppose, from conversation with Colonel Hawkins, that we should find pilots here whose experience in navigating the harbor would be of great service, but I find great difficulty in accomplishing my work for want of proper accommodations. The harbor with our fleet at anchor is so much crowded that we have suffered much from collision and running aground, and the want of tow-boats of light draught has been and still is one of our most serious hinderances. The boats chartered in Baltimore have none of them arrived. The reason of this delay I am utterly at a loss to comprehend. The channel to the sound is very crooked and shallow, there being on the bar at full tide only 8 feet, while many of our vessels are drawing from 8 to 10 when not loaded. I confess to having been deceived as to the depth of water in the channel and on the bar, and had supposed that any vessel in the fleet could easily pass over, but, on the contrary, it has taken every vessel that has gone over from one to two days to cross, and some it will be entirely impossible to get over. It is positively necessary that we have sent us at once powerful tug-boats, drawing not over 6 or 6 1/2 feet. The strength of the tide and the heavy winds that prevail here incessantly render it impossible to accomplish anything without these boats. All our transport vessels have to be lightened of their troops before crossing, and many of the gunboats are also obliged to be relieved of every possible weight. In order to do this we need the tugs, and it is necessary that they be of such draught as to be able to run in any part of the harbor.

I took the precaution to arrange for a supply of water to be forwarded from Baltimore before I left, ordering one schooner to leave each day till further orders, but not one has yet arrived. Our supply of water is nearly out, and unless we can receive additional supplies our troops must suffer. I have made requisition on Col. A. B. Eaton for additional rations for my command and on Colonel Tompkins for transportation. I shall to-day commence to build a wharf for the landing of supplies, &c. This has been considered impracticable, but the necessity of the case leads me to the effort, though I am by no means sure of success. Here, too, we find the necessity of having the tug-boats of light draught. In landing our troops from transport vessels much time is necessarily consumed for want of these boats that can come alongside the vessel. The numerous shoals and bars render it impossible for larger vessels to move from their anchorage without danger of grounding. With the greatest exertion, and amid obstacles that have seemed insurmountable, we have succeeded in getting into the sound six of our {p.356} armed vessels and three of the transports. These vessels will carry some 4,000 to 5,000 men. Several of the other vessels are now hard aground, and it is impossible to see how they are to be got off without the aid of more powerful tug-boats than we now have at our command. The enemy have full knowledge of our present position, and have already been down with one or two vessels on a reconnoitering expedition but our boats soon gave chase and drove them back. I shall not feel warranted in making any advance upon the enemy till I have from 7,000 to 8,000 men in full position for battle.

It is not possible for any one not on the spot to conceive the difficulties I have to encounter in accomplishing the duties assigned me. The utter barrenness of the shore, there being only a sand spit, which the high tides often cover, prevent any permanent landing. There is no timber to be had even for fuel, and the great difficulty in transporting men and baggage to and from the shore causes great delay. Notwithstanding all these difficulties our men are cheerful and patient, and if we soon receive the necessary aid in the way of tug-boats and supplies of water I shall proceed with much confidence. Let me urge the immediate necessity of having these tug-boats forwarded with all possible haste. I send these dispatches by Mr. F. Shelden, who has been with us from the first, and who is entitled to my entire confidence. He will give you in detail any additional information you may require.

I also send Quartermaster Loring to Baltimore by the same boat for the purpose of forwarding with all possible speed the boats and water schooners from there. I trust you will instruct your chief quartermaster to grant him every facility in aid of his duties.

I am, general, your very obedient servant,

A. E. BURNSIDE, Major-General.



Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Commanding U. S. Army, Washington:

GENERAL: Since my last report on the 26th instant we have been incessantly engaged in getting our vessels over the bar into the sound. They have all had to be lightened of their cargo in order to bring them to the necessary draught for crossing. This has necessarily consumed much time, owing to the limited means for towing and discharging. We have, however, at anchor in the sound this morning transportation for twelve regiments.

All the necessary arrangements for a considerable movement having been made, I shall, in conjunction with Commodore Goldsborough, at once make an advance upon Roanoke Island. These arrangements have all been made in the best spirit and we have received much valuable assistance from the commodore’s vessel. Of the eight tug boats ordered from Baltimore only one has arrived; the other seven are still at Old Point Comfort, afraid to go out to sea. The want of these boats has been a most serious hinderance to our progress. I have never undertaken a work that has presented so many obstacles.

Since our last dispatch four water schooners have come in, affording us much relief. We look for others daily. The inclosed list of vessels will show you our strength now at anchor in the sound.

The health of the troops has been and still is very good, considering their long confinement on shipboard, and the men are all eager for a {p.357} forward movement. I have landed at this point, and shall leave in charge of General Williams the Eighty-ninth New York, Sixth New. Hampshire, Eleventh Connecticut Regiments, with the Rhode Island Battery. I find I cannot use so many men to advantage upon the island, and these regiments, under the care of General Williams, will be ready and accessible at all times.

In my last I made mention of Colonel Hawkins in a way that may convey to you a wrong impression.

The pilots were engaged for service in the harbor and in the sound, but failed to fulfill their contract, either from unwillingness or incompetency, and we have suffered much for want of experienced men in towing the vessels.

I neglected to mention in my last dispatch a painful occurrence that happened on the 15th during a heavy blow. A boat containing Colonel Allen and Surgeon Weller, of the Ninth New Jersey Regiment, with a boat’s crew, was upset in the breakers while returning from this ship to his own vessel, he having come on board to report the arrival of his command. The colonel and surgeon were both drowned. Their bodies were recovered and will be sent home by the Suwanee to-day.

The bark John Trucks, with Fifty-third Regiment New York Volunteers, Col. L. J. D’Epineuil, arrived here after a long passage, but owing to the great draught of the vessel and the consequent impossibility to bring her over the bar and the difficulty of landing her troops she was ordered back to Fort Monroe on the 26th to report to General Wool.

The brigadier-generals have all been incessant in their labors, and the best of feeling pervades the whole command, both among officers and men. The weather for the last two or three days has been bright and clear, and everything evinces a much more cheerful aspect than at the time of my last dispatch.

FRIDAY, January 31.

Yesterday afternoon five of the tug-boats from Baltimore came mu and anchored inside the bar. We immediately put them to work in towing over the remainder of the vessels, and with their assistance we now have at anchor in deep water all the vessels we intend to take up the sound. Having had to lighten these vessels of their troops and of everything that could be taken from them, some time will be required to re-embark the troops and reload them. We are busily engaged now in this work and in supplying them with water and provisions, ready for a forward movement, and hope very soon to be under way. The Eastern State returned from Fort Monroe last evening, bringing a large mail. Owing to her drawing so much water we shall not attempt to take her over the bulkhead, but leave her for other purposes in the harbor.

Early this morning a sail was seen approaching as from the opposite side of the sound. One of the picket gunboats was sent out to meet her and soon brought her in. She proved to be a small schooner from Middletown, a point nearly opposite where we are now lying. She was laden with pine wood and had on board 5 men, deserters from the camp at Middletown. They report about 600 men at Middletown under arms. These are all poorly equipped and armed with smooth-bore flint-lock muskets, and not at all inclined to resist the landing of the Federal forces. The men have been detained and are now on board this vessel.

I have the honor, General, to be your obedient servant,

A. E. BURNSIDE, Brigadier-General.



Abstract from return of the Department of North Carolina for the month of January, 1862.

Troops.Present for duty.Aggregate present.
1st (Foster’s) Brigade1683,9734,363
2d (Reno’s) Brigade1413,3643,697
3d Parke’s) Brigade1162,6132,867
Williams’ brigade661,60361651,902

Organization of troops in the Department of North Carolina, January 31, 1862.

  • Brig. Gen. AMBROSE E. BURNSIDE commanding.
    • First Brigade.
      Brig. Gen. JOHN G. FOSTER.
      • 10th Connecticut, Col. Charles L. Russell,
      • 23d Massachusetts, Col. John Kurtz.
      • 24th Massachusetts, Col. Thomas G. Stevenson.
      • 25th Massachusetts, Col. Edwin Upton.
      • 27th Massachusetts, Col. Horace C. Lee.
    • Second Brigade.
      Brig. Gen. JESSE L. RENO.
      • 21st Massachusetts, Lieut. Col. Alberto C. Maggi.
      • 9th New Jersey, Lieut. Col. Charles A. Heckman
      • 51st New York, Col. Edward Ferrero.
      • 51st Pennsylvania, Col. John F. Hartranft.
  • Third Brigade.
    Brig. Gen. JOHN G. PARKE.
    • 8th Connecticut, Col. Edward Harland.
    • 9th New York, Col. Rush C. Hawkins.
    • 53d New York,* Col. L. J. D’Epineuil.
    • 4th Rhode Island, Col. I. P. Rodman.
    • 5th Rhode Island (battalion), Maj. John Wright.
  • Williams’ Brigade.
    • 11th Connecticut, Lieut. Col. C. Mathewson.
    • 6th New Hampshire, Col. Nelson Converse.
    • 89th New York, Col. H. S. Fairchild.
    • 48th Pennsylvania, Col. James Nagle.
    • 1st Rhode Island Artillery, Battery F, Capt. James Belger.
    • 1st U. S. Artillery, Battery C, Capt. Lewis O. Morris.

* Absent.



Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Comdg. U. S. Army, Washington:

GENERAL: Owing to the many difficulties I have met with in the transportation of troops and supplies into the sound, together with the want of more vessels that could be of service in shallow water, I have felt compelled to avail myself of all the resources within my reach to forward my command as speedily as possible. I have therefore detained for service here the steamer S. R. Spaulding, having been assured that she was well suited to the navigation of the waters of this sound. The result has proved the correctness of this statement, as {p.359} she has been brought over the Bulkhead with less difficulty than any of my transport vessels.

I feel confident that this step will meet with your approval, when you are fully informed as to the emergencies of the case. As soon as I can make a permanent landing of a portion of my forces I shall return the Spaulding to Fort Monroe.

For the same reasons as in the above case I have also detained the propeller Virginia, being confident that the necessities of the case and the good of the public service warranted me in so doing. She will be returned to Old Point as soon as I can possibly dispense with her services.

The weather for the last two or three days has been such as to retard our progress very considerably. The winds have been so fresh and the sea so rough that it has been with the greatest difficulty that we could, even with the assistance of the tugs, pass from one vessel to another; we have, however, been constantly at work, and the preparations for an advance are now rapidly drawing to a close. The vessels that have suffered from collisions and other causes we are endeavoring to repair, and will one or two exceptions have succeeded in rendering them again serviceable. Having understood that a force of some 5,000 of the enemy were at Nag’s Head, opposite Roanoke Island, orders were issued by Commodore Goldsborough for the Chippewa, now of the blockading force off Wilmington, to proceed at once to Nag’s Head for active service. These orders were forwarded by the Eastern State on Saturday, the 1st of February, and the return of the vessel is now hourly expected.

The storm has considerably abated, and we are now in hopes to be under way by to-morrow or at farthest the day after. Our vessels are nearly ready, and nothing but violent weather will now prevent our getting off.

I am, General, your very obedient servant,

A. E. BURNSIDE, Brigadier-General.

List of vessels now at anchor in Pamlico Sound.

S. R. Spaulding400Picket
Geo. Peabody800Pioneer400
New Brunswick700Hussar400
New York700Chasseur400
Eastern Queen875
Brig Dragoon300



HDQRS. DEPT. OF NORTH CAROLINA, Pamlico Sound, February 3, 1862.

This expedition being about to land on the soil of North Carolina, the general commanding desires his soldiers to remember that they are here to support the Constitution and the laws, to put down rebellion, and to protect the persons and property of the loyal and peaceable {p.360} citizens of the State. In the march of the army all unnecessary injury to houses, barns, fences, and other property will be carefully avoided, and in all cases the laws of civilized warfare will be strictly observed.

Wounded soldiers will be treated with every care and attention, and neither they nor prisoners must be insulted or annoyed by word or act. With the fullest confidence in the valor and character of his troops, the commanding general looks forward to a speedy and successful termination of the campaign.

By command of Brig. Gen. A. E. Burnside:

LEWIS RICHMOND, Assistant Adjutant-General.


HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, February 10, 1862.

Brig. Gen. AMBROSE E. BURNSIDE, Commanding Department of North Carolina:

GENERAL: Major-General McClellan directs me to acknowledge the receipt of your letters of January 29 and February 3, and to say in reply that he deeply regrets that you have had so many difficulties to contend with; he is glad, however to learn that you have overcome them. You have succeeded much better than he could expect and he is perfectly satisfied. He has heard to-day several rumors of an action at Roanoke Island, and is confident that he will hear to-morrow or the next day of your complete success.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. V. COLBURN, Assistant Adjutant-General.


WASHINGTON, D. C., February 10, 1862.


MY DEAR OLD BURN.: Your dispatches of 29th January and 3d February received yesterday, together with your private notes. I feel for you in your troubles, but you have borne yourself nobly in difficulties more trying than any that remain to you to encounter, and the same energy and pluck that has carried you through up to the present will Pike you through to the end.

We hear various rumors to-day about firing at Roanoke Island. I hope to hear to-morrow that you have taken it. In any event I shall feel sure that you have done all that a gallant and skillful soldier can accomplish. We are in statu quo here; have gained a great point in Tennessee by the capture of Fort Henry, which opens the road to us into Tennessee.

Everything is bright except the roads.*


God bless you, old fellow, and give you success.

Ever yours,


* Some personal matter omitted.




HDQRS. DEPT. OF NORTH CAROLINA, Roanoke Island, February 10, 1862.

The names of the forts and batteries captured on this island in the action of the 8th of February are hereby changed as follows:

I. Fort Huger, at the head of the Island, to Fort Reno.

II. Fort Blanchard to Fort Parke.

III. Fort Bartow to Fort Foster.

IV. The inland battery is named and will be called Battery Russell.

V. The battery on Shallow Bag Bay is named and will be called Battery De Monteil.

By command of Brig. Gen. A. E. Burnside:

LEWIS RICHMOND, Assistant Adjutant-General.


ANNAPOLIS, February 11, 1862.

General [J. P.] HATCH, Commanding Post:

GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose my statement of my unavoidable delay on board the John Trucks and of the events which took place during that time.

When General Burnside’s expedition was about to sail for Hampton Roads our general determined on placing my whole command on board the John Trucks-sailing bark of about 800 tons, commanded by Captain Collins. The men would be crowded, but as they were (according to General Burnside’s own statement) only to remain on board for five or six days at most, I made no objection, but simply obeyed, embarking my men on the 5th January, 1862.

On the 9th of the above month we left Annapolis, towed by the gunboat Sentinel, Captain Conellard, and then began the series of misfortunes which have pursued us ever since.

On the 10th of January, during a thick fog, we went ashore at Cove Point, and did not reach Fort Monroe until the 13th, just one day after the departure of our expedition to Hatteras Inlet.

We were detained until the weather cleared, and were for ten days endeavoring, but in vain, to reach Hatteras, where we arrived at last in a pitiable condition, after ten days spent at sea battling against the elements, in an overcrowded vessel with 700 men on board.

We were barely anchored at about 6 miles from shore and in sight of the fleet when a furious storm of northwest wind arose and blew for ten days, after which I at last got to shore and reported to Generals Parke and Burnside.

The fleet was then inside the inlet as ready for action as it was possible to be after a fortnight of storms and gales which had dispersed or at least delayed eleven vessels, of which we were, after all, the first that arrived safely. The water schooners were not yet in sight, nor had the tug-boats, so indispensable to the speedy communication of orders, arrived.

General Burnside had no lightening vessels at his disposal on board of which to place us, and as the John Trucks drew too much water to pass the bar, he found it impossible for my men to be put on shore, and consequently ordered us back to Fort Monroe, pledging me his word and honor that he would send us a steamer to fetch us thence and enable us to join the expedition.

In accordance with the above order we sailed and reached {p.362} six days after, but my men being in great need of landing, and there being no ground fit for them to do so, we again sailed, and reached Annapolis on the evening of Wednesday, 6th February, 1862.

By remaining for thirty-four days, 700 on board, which if intended to sail is only calculated to carry 300, and which was consequently overcrowded by double the number, the Fifty-third Regiment New York Volunteers has undergone fatigue and miseries a thousand times harder to bear than ten battles, and more demoralizing than ten battles or even a defeat. Let us call to mind the English pontoon, between the decks of which an enormous number of prisoners, deprived of all means of cleaning themselves or the ship, were gathered and overcrowded; let us remember that besides this we were, if not exactly short of rations, at least compelled to the strictest economy in order to avoid becoming so; that besides we had not soft water enough even to dream of giving any to the men for the purposes of corporeal cleanliness-let us consider all, and I think that we shall still have a very inadequate idea of what the sufferings of my poor men have been.

I should be completely misunderstood if it was thought that I in any way meant to complain. No; we have been the victims of circumstances, hard, undoubtedly, but unavoidable, and in our misery we ought to thank God for not having sent to destroy us some of those fearful contagious diseases which are the natural consequences of men being, as we were, overcrowded in a small place.

In making the above picture of our misfortunes I have only in view to state the fact that my men, although submitted to the hard discipline, which is so needed in such cases, behaved in the most admirable manner; that they were ever obedient, calm, and resigned to their late. Like faithful soldiers, which they are, they have strictly obeyed the orders of our general, and are worthy of the highest consideration.

I shall perhaps have to bear the blame of public opinion for not having protested here or there; for not having done this or that, and many will perhaps think that the colonel could have avoided much suffering by acting in such or such a way. Let them think so. Let even my men be dissatisfied with me now. Time will clear up all those clouds, and if the Fifty-third Regiment has not been yet of any utility to the country, the admirable patience and abnegation displayed by the officers and men during their long sojourn on board has at least shown what may be expected from their bearing when they are at last able to go into the field.

Very respectfully, &c.,

L. J. D’EPINEUIL, Colonel Fifty-third New York Volunteers.


HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, February 12, 1862.

Brig. Gen. AMBROSE E. BURNSIDE, Commanding Department of North Carolina:

GENERAL: We are all rejoiced to hear, through rebel sources, the gallant capture of Roanoke Island and the rebel gunboats. I hope to receive your account of it in a day or two, and take it for granted that your success has been at least as decisive and brilliant as indicated by rebel accounts.

I am glad to see that Commodore Goldsborough and yourself have {p.363} pushed the enemy so rapidly and so far. I hope that the effect has been produced of drawing the attention of the rebels toward Norfolk, &c., so that, after having fully secured what you have gained, you will, by a rapid counter-movement be enabled to make the second attack with every chance of success. I still hope that you will be able to seize and hold Goldsborough, as well as gaining possession of the seaport in view.

You will have heard of our marked success in Tennessee-the capture of Fort Henry-and the trip of our gunboats into Alabama.

Everything goes well with us, but your success seems to be the most brilliant yet. I expect still more from you. While in the sound, please gain all possible information as to the possibility of attacking Norfolk from the south; that may prove to be the best blow to be struck. Although, as I am not yet quite prepared to secure it as it should be, it may be our best policy to defer that until you have accomplished all the original objects of the expedition, when with suitable re-enforcements you may attack Norfolk to great advantage.

I regret that the special messenger is waiting and that I must close this.

Very truly, yours,

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, Commanding U. S. Army.



HDQRS. DEPT. OF NORTH CAROLINA, Roanoke Island, February 15, 1862.

1. In this department, whenever possible, Divine service will be held by the chaplains on Sunday, and on that day all work will, cease excepting such as is absolutely necessary for the public service. The great trials and labors which have lately prevented the proper observance of this day being over, it is hoped that, in thankfulness for our preservation through the storms and the dangers we have passed and for the great victory granted us, all will join in the endeavor to keep it sacred.

2. In order to preserve the health of the command the brigade commanders will direct their troops to avoid as much as possible the swampy parts of the island, not to bathe in the sound before 9 o’clock in the morning or later than 3 in the afternoon, and not bathe or wash their clothes in swamp water, this practice engendering chills and fever.

By command of Brig. Gen. A. E. Burnside:

LEWIS RICHMOND, Assistant Adjutant-General.


Proclamation made to the People of North Carolina.

ROANOKE ISLAND, N. C., February 16, 1862.

The mission of our joint expedition is not to invade any of your rights, but to assert the authority of the United States, and thus to close with you the desolating war brought upon your state by comparatively a few bad men in your midst.

Influenced infinitely more by the worst passions of human nature than by any show of elevated reason, they are still urging you astray to gratify their unholy purposes.


They impose upon your credulity by telling you of wicked and even diabolical intentions on our part; of our desire to destroy your freedom, demolish your property, liberate your slaves, injure your women, and such like enormities, all of which, we assure you, is not only ridiculous, but utterly and willfully false.

We are Christians as well as yourselves, and we profess to know full well and to feel profoundly the sacred obligations of the character.

No apprehensions need be entertained that the demands of humanity or justice will be disregarded.

We shall inflict no injury unless forced to do so by your own acts, and upon this you may confidently rely.

Those men are your worst enemies. They in truth have drawn you into your present condition, and are the real disturbers of your peace and the happiness of your firesides.

We invite you in the name of the Constitution and in that of virtuous loyalty and civilization to separate yourselves at once from their malign influence, to return to your allegiance, and not compel us to resort further to the force under our control.

The Government asks only that its authority may be recognized, and, we repeat, in no manner or way does it desire to interfere with your laws constitutionally established, your institutions of any kind whatever, your property of any sort, or your usages in any respect.*

A. E. BURNSIDE, Brigadier-General, Commanding Department N. C.

S. C. ROWAN, Commanding Naval Forces in Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.

* Other copies of this proclamation appear to have been signed by Flag-Officer L. M. Goldsborough and Brigadier-General Burnside.


WASHINGTON, February 20, 1862.


GENERAL: I have only time to write a few hasty words. Everything from the West is thus far satisfactory, and your victory has created a profound impression. I still hope that you will be able to seize Goldsborough, though, in the uncertainty that exists in regard to the force of the enemy in front of you, I do not feel able to give you definite instructions. I feel sure that you will gain Beaufort. We have from rebel sources a rumor, yet unconfirmed, to the effect that [T. W.] Sherman has taken Savannah.

In great haste, very truly, yours,

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General, Commanding U. S. Army.



GENERAL: I have the honor to present the following statement of events that have transpired in my department since my last dispatch on the 12th instant:*

After the occupation of this island by our troops a few irregularities occurred in the way of destruction of property, such as burning of {p.365} fences, taking furniture and food from houses, killing stock, &c., but in no case has personal violence or indignities been offered. I have ordered an investigation to be made, and find the amount of damage done will not exceed $2,000, and this includes the stock killed for food, which seemed to be almost a necessity, as many of the troops were entirely out of rations after the battle and it was impossible to land subsistence stores that night in consequence of the storm. In every instance these irregularities were committed on places that had been temporarily deserted, the occupants having fled to distant parts of the island. I have ordered payment for these damages to be made to those who seem well disposed to our Government and have taken the oath of allegiance. These islanders as a body are ignorant and inoffensive, and I am quite sure have not aided in this rebellion more than they were forced to do by the forces that were quartered upon them, and which has left them in a very destitute condition, impressing their horses and cattle, eating their provisions, giving them in return worthless shin-plasters. They have also been prevented from fishing, which constitutes their chief source of living, from fear of their visiting our port at Hatteras Inlet with information of the strength and movements of the enemy at this place. I have given them protection and granted them permission to pursue their work unmolested. They seem to be delighted at the arrival of our troops, and nearly every man on the island has taken the oath of allegiance, as well as large numbers from the neighborhood of Nag’s Head, Powell’s Point, and many from the main-land. In cases of absolute want of food among the women and children subsistence stores have been issued. This, I trust, will meet the approval of the General Commanding.

Our troops are fast improving the roads on the island, and have materially improved in point of cleanliness and comfort the winter barracks, camp grounds, and hospitals. A wharf some 500 feet long has been built at Pork Point Battery out to 8-foot water, on which we can readily embark our troops and land our stores, &c. All the guns of the forts, with two exceptions, have been unspiked and their carriages repaired. Cartridges have been made, and the forts are now in good condition. All of this work has been superintended by Lieut. D. W. Flagler, who has proved himself a most competent ordnance officer. Small-arms and equipments have been boxed and stored, an inventory of which will be forwarded with this report. Advantage has been taken of the few days’ rest here to repair several of our vessels and to clean out their boilers &c. The health of the command is excellent. The wounded are all doing well under the unwearied attention of the medical staff which has proved itself all that could be desired. The troops are encamped by brigades, the commanders of which are perfecting them in brigade drill.

On the 10th instant I sent the Picket, Capt. T. P. Ives, with two companies of the Ninth Regiment New York, Col. R. C. Hawkins, to make a reconnaissance in the neighborhood of Nag’s Head. They found that General Wise left there with the remnant of his troops on the day of the battle, burning the large hotel, to prevent its use by our troops, and destroying a considerable amount of public property that could not be removed. We, however, secured a large steam mud-scow, a blacksmith forge, and some open boats and flat-boats loaded with wood.

On the 12th I again sent a smaller party, under my aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Pell, which succeeded in bringing back several Sibley cuts and a large box of medical stores. Frequent scouting parties have {p.366} been sent over the island, bringing in a considerable quantity of military stores concealed by the rebels.

On the 18th I joined Flag-Officer Goldsborough in ordering an expedition up the Chowan River, for the purpose of destroying the bridge over the Norfolk and Weldon Railroad, detailing for this service the Ninth New York, Colonel Hawkins, who were transported by the gunboats of Captain Rowan, detailed by the flag-officer for this purpose. I hope to hear from them by to-morrow.

On the 19th we dispatched a joint expedition, consisting of the Fifth Rhode Island Battalion, on the steamer Union and three naval launches, under the immediate direction of Captain Jeffers, of the Navy, up Currituck Sound, for the purpose of reconnoitering the shores and destroying some salt-works that were reported in operation on the coast. The expedition returned this evening, and report that the importance of the works was very much exaggerated; in fact, there is no organized establishment there. A few iron kettles, owned by difficult individuals have been used from time to time to boil down the sea-water to obtain a supply for immediate or local use. They found the inhabitants very much alarmed, but after assuring them that our purpose was not to harm them they became more communicative, and were free in the expression of their opinion that they had been deceived as to our intentions.

I have ordered General Williams’ brigade, with the exception of the Forty-eighth Pennsylvania and Captain Morris’ company, First Artillery, to this place, and shall as soon as the expedition from the Chowan River returns make some rapid movements in the direction indicated in my instructions. I am satisfied that our best policy is to dismantle the small fortifications at different points on the sound and destroy the means of transportation, immediately after which I shall try to do the more important work which I know is expected of me. But I beg here to say that, in order to be perfectly secure in my movements, it would be well to have my force increased to double its present strength. I shall not, however, hesitate in going forward, and will leave the matter of re-enforcements to your better judgment. But one of the light-draught steamers sent for some time since has arrived, but we are expecting more daily, when I shall establish a line from here to Old Point Comfort, by way of Oregon Inlet, in the following manner: By steamers of from 3 1/2 to 4 feet draught from here to the inlet, and by sea-going propellers of from 6 to 7 feet draught from there to Old Point Comfort. I hope the Quartermaster’s Department will hasten to send me at once five of the former and six of the latter. By this route we shall avoid the passage of Cape Hatteras, and thus save over 100 miles, which is of the greatest importance.

Roanoke Island must continue to be time central point from which all naval and military movements in these sounds must be made.

I have issued an order changing the names of the forts on the island as follows: Fort Bartow, at Pork Point, to Fort Foster; Fort Huger, at Weir’s Point, to Fort Reno; Fort Blanchard, the intermediate fort, to Fort Parke; the fort on south point of Shallow Bag Bay to Fort De Monteil, and the battery in the center of the island to Battery Russell. I propose to remove the guns from Fort Parke to a fort of the same name to be built at North Point, and the guns from Battery Russell to a battery of same name to be built on Dolby’s Point, on the north point of Shallow Bag Bay. I also propose to build a battery either at Broad Creek Point or Indian Shells Bank. For this purpose I have ordered up Lieutenant Farquhar, of the Engineers, from Fort Hatteras.


We shall need a supply of ammunition for these guns; at least 300 rounds to a piece. I inclose herewith requisition of Lieutenant Flagler for the same.

Our supplies of commissary stores have been ample, and with what is now on hand and ordered we have enough for sixty days. I am not so sure of forage and coal. It has been ordered, but does not arrive as promptly as I had hoped for. The steamer S. B. Spaulding, of which I wrote to you, will be returned to Old Point Comfort in two days.

I beg to inclose the correspondence with General Huger in reference to exchange of prisoners,* which will explain itself, and I hope my course will meet with the approval of the General-in-Chief I was induced to pursue this course for the reason that the sending of these prisoners to the North would have deprived me of transportation for at least three regiments, and also of a considerable force, which would have been necessary to guard them on their way thither; besides, if they had been sent North there would have been a delay in the exchange of some days, thus prolonging the confinement of our prisoners in the hands of the rebels, who it will be seen by the terms of exchange are to be released at once.

Although this is not in obedience to the letter of my instructions, I am sure the General-in-Chief will feel that I am observing the spirit of them. Inclosed please find an accurate list of the prisoners, with a recapitulation. The original parole I still hold, but will forward it by the next mail. The prisoners were all embarked for Elizabeth City, under the direction of Lieutenant-Colonel Osborn, Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment, at 1 o’clock p.m. to-day, and are by this time handed over to Major Allston, who represents General Huger.

The flag-officer has kept his fleet constantly engaged upon the most important and effective service, the details of which I do not mention, for I know he will keep his Department thoroughly informed of his movements.

I beg to close by assuring you that my command is in most excellent discipline and spirits and anxious for another forward movement.

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

A. E. BURNSIDE, Brigadier-General, Commanding Department N. C.

Brig. Gen. LORENZO THOMAS, Adjutant-General, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.

* Not found. Reference is probably to his report of February 14, see p. 75.

* To appear in Series II. Burnside’s action was approved by dispatch of February 22, from McClellan.


U. S. FLAG-STEAMER PHILADELPHIA, Croatan Sound, N. C., February 24, 1862.

Brig. Gen. AMBROSE E. BURNSIDE, Commanding Department of North Carolina:

SIR: I am directed by the flag-officer to forward to you the inclosed, which is a copy of a dispatch received by him this day from the Secretary of the Navy.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

HENRY VAN BRUNT, Secretary to the Flag-Officer.



NAVY DEPARTMENT, February 14, 1862.

Flag-Officer L. M. GOLDSBOROUGH, Commanding North Atlantic Blockading Squadron:

SIR: Your dispatches of the 9th and 10th instant, by the hands of your private secretary, communicating the great success that has thus far attended the expedition into the waters of North Carolina, were received this morning, and I hasten, in the name of the President, to thank you for the service you and the brave men connected with you have rendered the country. These successful achievements of our Navy and Army in North Carolina come to swell the current of cheering tidings that reach us from the West, where the gallant Foote with his flotilla, has co-operated with the Army in a successful demonstration against the rebel forces in Tennessee.

Our brave and patriotic men on the coast and in the interior are earning a debt of gratitude from their country.

The hearts and best wishes of the nation have been with you through the long trials you have endured, and most sincerely do we rejoice with you in the success which you have obtained.

In congratulating you and the officers and men of your command the Department would also extend congratulations to General Burnside and the Army.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,



HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, March 4, 1862.


GENERAL: The General-in-Chief has read your dispatches of the 14th, 20th, and 23d February. Your course merits his full approval, and he desires me to say your wants shall be at once attended to. The subject of re-enforcements will meet with immediate attention.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General.



Brig. Gen. LORENZO THOMAS, Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to report for the information of the General Commanding that I have now embarked, preparatory to a movement designated by his instructions, the whole of General Reno’s brigade and half of each of the brigades of Generals Foster and Parke. I had hoped to have, finished the entire embarkation of the three brigades to-day, but the severe gale now prevailing will prevent. It is impossible to calculate upon the time necessary to make movements on this coast. At this season of the year there are either gales or fogs five or six days in a week.

The necessary delay here has probably done us no material harm, as {p.369} we have been making a few minor movements, which-have served to distract the enemy. Colonel Hawkins, of the Ninth New York, with his regiment, together with the Eighty-ninth New York and the Sixth New Hampshire, will be left to garrison the island. I have some movements on foot with a view to breaking up the communications of the enemy, the result of which I had hoped to report to you, but the severe weather doubtless delayed the return of the expeditions. If possible I shall leave here with three brigades to-morrow night and make a hasty descent upon New Berne, the result of which will be reported to you at once by a dispatch ship.

I send to New York by the vessel carrying this dispatch all the sick and wounded that will not be fit for duty in sixty days. The command generally is in good health. I have moved since my last dispatch from Hatteras Inlet the three regiments and Belger’s battery of light artillery, leaving there the Forty-eighth Pennsylvania and Captain Morris’ company of First Artillery. I propose to take with me a portion of this company, which has been used to man two 32-pounder field howitzers, for which horses and harness were issued a month since, and it is now a very efficient section of artillery.

The order relieving General Williams from this department has been received, and he will leave Hatteras Inlet for his new field of duty by the first opportunity.

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

A. E. BURNSIDE, Brigadier-General, Commanding Department N. C.


HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, March 10, 1862.


GENERAL: Your letter of the 5th instant has been received. I am instructed to inform you that in consequence of information just received that the enemy is abandoning his position at Centerville and toward Manassas, and that he has retreated from his batteries near Aquia Creek, a forward movement of the Army of the Potomac has been ordered this day, to seize upon any advantage that may offer. You can make your arrangements accordingly.

I am, &c.,

L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General.



HDQRS. ROANOKE ISLAND, N. C., March 12, 1862.

The contrabands at this post will hereafter be placed in the employ of the Government upon the following terms, viz:

1. Men will receive $10 per month, one ration, and soldier’s allowance of clothing.

2. Women will receive $4 per month, one ration, and allowance in money equal to and in lieu of soldier’s allowance of clothing.

3. Boys between the ages of twelve and sixteen will receive $4 per month, one ration, and soldier’s allowance of clothing.

4. All children under the age of twelve will receive one ration and remain with their parents.


5. The above regulations apply only to contrabands in the public service. When in the employ of officers or any other persons, as servants or in any other capacity, they will be paid by the person in whose employ they are an amount in money equal to the sum total of the clothing allowance, rations, and money expressed in the above regulations.

All persons at this post having contrabands in their employ or under their control will report in writing to these headquarters their names, ages, sex; where they come from; the names of their owners, and how long and by whom they have been employed.

In all cases they will be treated with great care and humanity. It is to be hoped that their helpless and dependent condition will protect them against injustice and imposition.

By order of Col. R. C. Hawkins, commanding the post:

JOHN E. SHEPARD, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.


WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington city, D. C., March 13, 1862.

Major-General BURNSIDE, Roanoke Island:

GENERAL: Dispatches to inform you of the state of military operations on the Potomac will be sent you by this steamer.

It may chance that it will be important for you to co-operate with contemplated movements of Major-General McClellan, and, if so, you will place your command under his direction and obey his instructions.

By the return of this steamer, or earlier, if possible, you will make full report to this Department; 1st, of the state of your command; 2d, the operations you are carrying on or contemplate; 3d, your wants, if there be any.

Nothing will be spared that can be furnished by this Department that may contribute to the safety and success of your operations.

Accompanying this you will find a communication by General McClellan respecting your operations, to which you will conform according to your circumstances and judgment.

Yours, truly,

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.


FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE, March 13, 1862.

Adjutant-General THOMAS:

In doubtful uncertainty as to General Burnside’s position and how far he may now be engaged in his final operations, it is difficult to give him very precise orders at present. I think it would be well that he should not engage himself farther inland than at New Berne, and should at once reduce Beaufort, leaving there a sufficient garrison in Fort Macon. He should at once return to Roanoke Island, ready to cooperate with all his available force either by way of Winton or by way of Fort Monroe, as circumstances may render necessary. I advise this on the supposition that Captain Fox is correct in his opinion that Burnside {p.371} will have New Berne this week. If he has become fairly engaged in the movement I would not stop him.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General.



Brig. Gen. AMBROSE E. BURNSIDE, U. S. Volunteers, Comdg., &c., Roanoke Island, N. C.:

SIR: On Sunday last the iron-clad steamer Merrimac, called by the rebels the Virginia, ran out from Norfolk, attacked our blockading squadron, destroyed two frigates and two gunboats. She was subsequently beaten back in a severe battle with our steamer Monitor, and has not since attempted to come out.

The rebel army has retreated from Winchester and Manassas, and retired, without fighting a battle, beyond the Rappahannock. The batteries on the Potomac have also been abandoned. These movements were made evidently in great haste, as they left behind pieces of artillery and other stores which they had not time to destroy.

The President’s Order, No. 3, herewith inclosed,* relieves Major-General McClellan from the command of the Army, and confines him to the Army of the Potomac. The Secretary of War directs that you make your reports and returns to him. He also directs that you forward dispatches to him on the return of the dispatch vessel, and permit no officer to detain her on any pretext whatever.

I inclose herewith a copy of a dispatch from Major-General McClellan, dated the 13th instant.**

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. THOMAS, Adjutant-General.

* See Series I, Vol. V, p. 54.

** See inclosure to Stanton to Burnside, March 13, 1862, p. 370.




SIR: Lieutenant-Colonel Crossan, who bears this flag of truce, is instructed to propose to you on my behalf a cessation of hostilities, so far as he and the men under his command are concerned, for such length of time as may be necessary to enable him to have interred the bodies of those of my command who were killed in the action of yesterday.*

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. O’B. BRANCH, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

* Answer, if any, not found.



HDQRS. DEPT. OF NORTH CAROLINA, New Berne, March 15, 1862.


4. Brig. Gen. J. G. Foster is hereby appointed military governor of {p.372} New Berne and its suburbs, and will be obeyed and respected accordingly.

5. Brig. Gen. J. G. Foster, military governor of New Berne, will direct that the churches be opened at a suitable hour to-morrow, in order that the chaplains of the different regiments may hold Divine service in them. The bells will be rung as usual.

By command of Brig. Gen. A. E. Burnside:

LEWIS RICHMOND, Assistant Adjutant-General.



HDQRS. DEPT. OF NORTH CAROLINA, New Byrne, March 19, 1862.

1. The brigade commanders will direct that their men have 40 rounds of ball cartridges in their cartridge-boxes at all times, ready for immediate use.

The post will be guarded as follows:

General Foster will guard the approaches to the town, throwing his pickets out some 4 or 5 miles, with strict instructions to them to carefully watch every way of entrance. General Reno will guard the line of the Trent and railroad as far as the brick-yard, throwing out his pickets in the same manner. General Parke will guard from Croatan down his line, throwing out his pickets in the same way.

2. No officer or soldier will, except on duty, be allowed outside the lines under any pretext whatever.

The pickets must be watchful, strong, well pushed out, and thoroughly instructed as to their duty.

By command of Brig. Gen. A. E. Burnside:

LEWIS RICHMOND, Assistant Adjutant-General.



HDQRS. DEPT. OF NORTH CAROLINA, New Berne, March 20, 1862.

1. General Foster will move five companies toward Kinston up the main road bordering the railroad till they come to the fork of the road between the railroad and the river Neuse. They will then divide, and move up both roads till they come to Batchelder’s Creek, and will burn both bridges over the creek. The force will then retire and occupy the fork of the roads and a point on the railroad immediately opposite, the pickets in communication with each other visiting occasionally with sufficient force the bridges and the bridge previously burned by the enemy. It may be well to have a patrol occupy the fork of the road, visiting occasionally the river Neuse. General Foster will also detail four companies of the same regiment to move up what is called the Trent road to the line dividing Craven and Jones Counties and occupy that position, keeping a constant patrol from the swamp on the right to the Trent River on the left, distance probably 2 miles. He is authorized to direct his quartermaster to employ such labor as he may require to throw up field works. The remaining company will remain in camp as a camp guard. The regiments in this service will be changed as often as the general thinks necessary.

2. General Reno will order a regiment up the road on the south of the Trent River, with instructions to burn the bridge 10 miles above {p.373} this place, which leads to Pollocksville. The force will then proceed to the town of Trenton, and burn the bridge across the river at that place, and then proceed to a point 5 miles above, and burn the bridge at that place. The regiment will then return to its camp, instructing the people that all communication with New Berne must be by the road on the south side of the Trent and over the ferry and bridge at the city.

The intention of this order is to destroy all the bridges over the Trent except the one near the city, where a strong guard must be kept. Personal instruction will be given to the brigadier-generals as to the orders to be given to the pickets.

By command of Brig. Gen. A. E. Burnside:

LEWIS RICHMOND, Assistant Adjutant-General.



Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington.

I have the honor to state that since my dispatch of the 21st instant we have been organizing and sending to General Parke batteries and ammunition for the siege of Fort Macon. He now occupies with his brigade Morehead City and Beaufort. Considerable delay has occurred from the weather and the burning of bridges over the railroad by the rebels immediately after the taking of New Berne. The bridge over Newport River has required a great deal of labor to reconstruct it. It will be finished, I think, by Saturday night, when we shall be able to forward things with much greater facility. The roads are very bad, and it requires an immense amount of labor to haul the heavy articles from the head of Slocum’s Creek to the railroad. Yesterday I made a visit to General Parke’s brigade, and gave him some more definite instructions as to his mode of proceeding. I hope when the enemy sees the ample means we have for the reduction of the fort he will conclude to surrender.

The expedition to Washington, mentioned in my last, was entirely successful, and productive, I think, of most excellent results. The enemy deserted the batteries, but the obstructions were still in the river. A passage-way for our steamers was, however, very soon made by our submarine engineers. The mayor of the city and some of the most respectable citizens met the vessels some distance below the town and conducted them up. The troops landed, under the command of Colonel Stevenson, of the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment, marched through the streets of the city, then re-embarked, after hoisting the Stars and Stripes on the court-house, and then returned to this city. One or two naval vessels were left there for a short time. The light belonging to the Hatteras light-house, which had been in Washington for some time, was removed up the Tar River in a very light-draught steamer, owned by one of the citizens, who was a large property-owner there. Notice has been given him that he must return the light or his property will be seized or destroyed.

The negroes continue to come in, and I am employing them to the best possible advantage; a principal part of them on some earth fortifications in the rear of the city, which will enable us to hold it with a small force when it becomes necessary to move with the main body. The enemy have been remarkably quiet; in fact, we have had but one meeting of the outposts, when we drove their pickets from their position.


There is nothing now of which we stand in so much need as cavalry. I have had to take the pieces from Captain Belger’s battery and organize it into a cavalry company in order to keep up communication with my outer line of pickets, as it was impossible to do it with infantry.

In my last I gave an estimate of the number of troops necessary to make a rapid move into the interior, and I hope the Department will find it convenient to send among the first of his troops a good regiment of cavalry. I believe I mentioned in my last that these regiments should bring with them a requisite number of horses and wagons, clothing and ammunition, at least 100 rounds per man.

I beg to thank the Department for the kind and too liberal appreciation of my services by recommending me for promotion.

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

A. E. BURNSIDE, Brigadier-General, Commanding Department of North Carolina.


HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Steamer Commodore, April 2, 1362.

Maj. Gen. AMBROSE E. BURNSIDE, Commanding Department of North Carolina:

GENERAL: I expect to reach Fort Monroe to-day, to take control of active operations from that point. The line of operations will be up the Peninsula, resting our line on the York River and making Richmond the objective point. In the course of events it may become necessary for us to cross the James below Richmond and move on Petersburg. It has now become of the first importance that there should be frequent communication between us, and that I should be informed of the exact state of things with you and in your front. Four additional regiments should have reached you by this time.

I am entirely in the dark as to the condition of your operations against Beaufort, the force of the enemy there and at Goldsborough. Will you please at once inform me fully, stating how soon you expect to be in possession of Fort Macon, what available troops you will then have for operating on Goldsborough, what can, in your opinion, be effected there in the way of taking possession of it, of neutralizing a strong force of the enemy there, and of doing something toward preventing the enemy’s retreat from Richmond. On the other hand, please inform me what you can do in the way of a demonstration at Winton on Suffolk.

You will readily understand that if I succeed in driving the enemy out of Richmond I will at once throw a strong force on Raleigh and open the communication with you via Goldsborough; after which I hope to confide to you no unimportant part of subsequent operations.

Taking all things into consideration, it appears probable that a movement in the direction of Goldsborough would be the best thing for you to undertake, as you can make it in larger force than that on Winton, for as soon as you have possession of Fort Macon nearly all your force will be available. Great caution will, however, be necessary, as the enemy might throw large forces in that direction. The main object of the movement would be to accomplish that, but it would not do for you to be caught. We cannot afford any reverse at present. I wish your opinion in regard to the whole affair.

Very truly, yours,





HDQRS. DEPT. OF NORTH CAROLINA, New Berne, April 2, 1862.

1. The corps d’armée now in occupation of this department will at once be organized into three divisions, to be commanded, according to seniority of rank, as follows, viz:

First Division by Acting Major-General Foster.

Second Division by Acting Major-General Reno.

Third Division by Acting Major-General Parke.

2. The commanding general takes great pride in presenting to his soldiers extracts of letters received from distinguished sources, which express the anxiety with which their motions are watched by the Government and the nation, the appreciation of the suffering they have endured, and a grateful acknowledgment of the brilliant victories they have won.

The General Assembly of the State of Ohio have forwarded resolutions passed by them:

Proffering their heartfelt thanks and hearty congratulations on the brilliant victories in North Carolina, which they regard as the beginning of what all patriots hope may be the speedy end of the great rebellion.

General Thomas, Adjutant-General United States Army, writes:

The President and Secretary of War have specially instructed me to express their high appreciation of the bravery and skill displayed by the ... commander of the Department of North Carolina and his troops in successes at once brilliant and fruitful. They have not failed to notice also a sure sign of high discipline in the cheerful spirit with which obstacles briefly alluded to in reports have been overcome in the field.

Hon. Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War, writes:

The report of the late brilliant successes of the United States forces under your command at New Berne has afforded the highest satisfaction to the President and to this Department and to the whole nation, and thanks for distinguished service are again tendered to you and the officers and soldiers of your command. ... It will be the pleasure of the Department to strengthen and support you to the utmost extent within its power.

By command of Maj. Gen. A. E. Burnside:

LEWIS RICHMOND, Assistant Adjutant-General.



Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: I have the honor to thank the President and yourself for the very complimentary way in which you have chosen to mention the services of my command. I have had your kind letter published to every regiment as a general order, and I am sure it is as gratifying to every officer and soldier in my command as it is to myself. I must apologize for making this dispatch very short, as some requisitions from my chief quartermaster for transportation, &c., render it necessary that a vessel should be dispatched at once for Hatteras Inlet to communicate with a vessel bound North from that place.

To-morrow I shall dispatch the E. S. Terry direct to New York with the convalescent wounded, and will send by her a more full account of our movements since our last.

Four regiments of re-enforcements have arrived, the Third and One {p.376} hundred and third New York, Seventeenth Massachusetts, and Second Maryland. I have assigned them to the different brigades. Their arrival was very opportune, as the enemy are concentrating a very large force at and near Kinston. All deserters that have come within our lines report the intention of the enemy to move upon this place. We are as well prepared for them as we can be with our present force, and as soon as sufficient re-enforcements and transportation arrive I shall move upon them, unless I receive instructions from you to make the attack on Weldon and Gaston instead of Goldsborough and Raleigh. You will remember I mentioned this subject in one of my dispatches from Roanoke Island.

We suffer very much for want of cavalry, and I hope the Department will send me a good regiment at once. It is very difficult with our present means to keep ourselves posted as to the movements of the enemy, and in the absence of accurate information we are constantly receiving most fabulous reports of their great strength and rapid movements. That they are concentrating in large numbers at and near Kinston there is no doubt. My force here, as you know, is weakened by the absence of General Parke’s brigade and the necessity of guarding the 36 miles of railway between here and Beaufort. Our lists of wounded and sick are very large, but I hope it will decrease under the constant skillful care of our surgeons. I beg here to say that we are much in need of more surgeons, which you were kind enough to say would be forwarded if required. I hope the Surgeon-General’s Department will find it for the interest of the public service to see that any brigade surgeons that may be sent are junior to Brigade Surg. W. H. Church, as he is my medical director, and it would be a very serious disappointment to have to give another surgeon his position.

General Parke is progressing but slowly with the siege of Fort Macon. We find it very difficult, with the limited means of transportation, to transport the heavy siege batteries and supplies, but I hope to report good progress within a week.

I hope the Quartermaster’s Department will not fail to send at once the transportation required by my chief quartermaster. The horses and wagons can be sent on light-draught schooners, such as we used when we moved from Annapolis.

We have suffered very much for want of fresh meat, which was to have been sent from Baltimore, but not a single head has arrived.

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

A. E. BURNSIDE, Brigadier-General. Comdg. Department of North Carolina.



Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:

I have the honor to report that a well-authenticated rumor has reached the commander of the naval fleet here to the effect that the rebel authorities at Norfolk are fitting out two small iron-clad gunboats for these waters. The exact state of progress is not known. It is said by some persons recently from that neighborhood that they will be finished within ten or twelve days, but I cannot believe but that this is an exaggeration.

The preparation to meet these boats is a duty devolving upon the {p.377} Navy Department, but as I cannot learn of any important steps being taken in that direction I deem it my duty to make the statement of the case to you, in view of the fact that we have so large a number of army vessels in these waters. The naval commander here will doubtless use all the means at his disposal to prevent any disaster, but the vessels of this fleet are but frail things at best, and have been much shaken up by constant service for three stormy months. I do not feel any serious apprehension in reference to this matter, but we certainly need two or three gunboats of a better class to make us perfectly secure. The armed vessels in my fleet will be put in the best possible condition to meet such an emergency, and I shall very soon try to land a force at the head of North River and try to permanently obstruct Currituck and Albemarle Canal. The locks of the canal leading from Elizabeth City are said to be too narrow to admit of a passage for these vessels, which I hope is true.

I have received nothing from General Parke this morning, but hope to report his progress by next mail. The commander of the fort seems disposed to make an obstinate resistance, but we have the means at hand to effect its reduction, but an Engineer officer, with a corps of Sappers and Miners, would be of great service.

The enemy in our front still continue in force, but we do not hear of them making any important advances in this direction. The outposts occasionally meet, but thus far there has been no important results from their meeting. We have lost but one man during the week, he being taken prisoner, and have killed one and wounded another of the enemy.

There is nothing of which we stand so much in need now as a regiment of cavalry, and I hope the Department will find it convenient to send one at once.

I hope you will excuse me for suggesting that the Van Alen Cavalry be sent, if, as I understand, it is in Washington.

Our sick lists are increasing slightly, but I hope to report a decrease very soon, as our beef cattle begin to arrive and they will have a change of diet.

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

A. E. BURNSIDE, Major-General, Commanding Department of North Carolina.



Maj. Gen. GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Commanding the Army:

GENERAL: I have the honor to state the following movements in this department since the battle of New Berne:

Immediately after the battle I started General Parke, with a portion of his brigade, to take possession of Morehead City, Carolina City, and Beaufort, and to invest Fort Macon.

This work has proved to be exceedingly difficult, owing to the absence of engines and cars on the railroad and the burning of the bridges by the enemy. The latter work was necessarily done under the protection of a large guard, and the enemy’s cavalry made frequent visits to the road, and I had no cavalry to compete with them.

Our losses have been but slight during the work, amounting in all to some 10 or 12 pickets. On the 7th instant Colonel Egloffstein, of {p.378} the One hundred and third New York, was ordered to make a reconnaissance up the Trent in the direction of Onslow County, and I afterward ordered him to continue his reconnaissance down the road leading from Trenton to Core Sound, at the mouth of White Oak River, and then to proceed up the shore of Core Sound and communicate with General Parke at Morehead City. This I did with a hope that we might be able to catch a portion of the enemy’s cavalry, the headquarters of which were at Swansborough, from whence they sent detachments over to the railroad, thus making the duty of guarding the 36 miles of road from this place to Carolina City very onerous.

The colonel started with 200 picked men, two days’ rations, and no transportation, with instructions to ration his men from supplies found on the route. He yesterday reached General Parke’s headquarters, having had several skirmishes with the enemy, in which he captured some 23 prisoners, 80 horses, quite a quantity of pistols, sabers, &c. Among the prisoners captured was Colonel Robinson, formerly of our Army, son-in-law of Captain McCrae.

I have been thus minute in these details to show you how necessary a regiment of cavalry is to me at this point, and I sincerely hope there will not be a moment’s delay in sending me a well-organized regiment.

General Parke has now succeeded in getting on the banks in rear of Fort Macon with the main body of his command, with two mortar batteries and one 30-pounder Parrott gun. The enemy’s pickets have been driven in and all communication with the garrison from the outside cut off. The enemy’s shots thus far have done us but little harm, wounding only 2 men. There are three naval vessels outside cooperating with us, and I hope within ten days to reduce the fort.

The re-enforcements you spoke of in your letter have arrived, and I have formed the brigades of Generals Foster and Reno into divisions which now occupy this place and its suburbs. I am building just in rear of the town an inclosed bastioned field work capable of holding 1,000 men and mounting thirty guns, which work will be finished in a few days. After which I propose to build another small four-gun work, with two companies, to the right of this first work and near the Neuse. These forts completely command the town, and will enable me to leave it with a small force when I move up the country. My advance now on the railroad is at Batchelder’s Creek, where we are rebuilding the railroad bridge burnt by the enemy, and I have made corresponding advances in the direction of Kinston, on the Neuse and Trent Roads, which positions have been maintained with occasional disturbances in way of picket firing.

Some days ago I sent, in conjunction with the Navy, a regiment to Washington, to temporarily occupy that place, destroy the batteries, and remove the obstacles in the river, which was successfully accomplished, and the troops have returned.

Some 600 of our men from Roanoke Island were sent to Elizabeth City last week, and captured all the pickets in the neighborhood of that place, amounting to 74 men and 100 stand of arms. Since then the enemy’s force has been increased at that point to two regiments and a field battery of four guns.

I have organized an expedition, in conjunction with Commodore Rowan, against that place, and if we succeed in capturing or driving the enemy back, we shall move up to South Mills and blow up the lock of the canal at that place, and then proceed to the head of the Currituck Canal and blow in its banks, thus rendering it impossible {p.379} for the gunboats which are said to be building at Norfolk to come into these waters. I hope the expedition will be successful.

The regiments of my original command are much decreased by sickness and casualties in battle, and the recruiting service having been stopped, I shall not be able to fill them up. My command now consists of twenty regiments, one battalion, and a battery, making an aggregate of about 15,000 men, distributed as follows: Three regiments at Roanoke, one-half of a regiment at Hatteras Inlet, three regiments and a battalion with General Parke and on the road, and thirteen and one-half regiments with the battery at this place. The engines and cars, for which we made requisition immediately after the battle, have not yet arrived, and as the re-enforcements sent me brought no wagons with them, we are absolutely crippled for want of transportation. I sincerely hope there will be no delay in forwarding me the regiment of cavalry and two batteries of artillery, together with the engines, cars, and wagons already required for.

The enemy continues in force at Kinston, but I feel quite sure I can dislodge them after the fall of Fort Macon.

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

A. E. BURNSIDE, Major-General, Commanding Department of North Carolina.


HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Near Yorktown, April 20, 1862.

Maj. Gen. AMBROSE E. BURNSIDE, Commanding Department of North Carolina:

GENERAL: I have information, which I regard as entirely reliable, that on the 25th of March a movement of troops commenced from Richmond for North Carolina to operate against your command. These regiments came from Fredericksburg and Gordonsville, having formed part of the Army of Manassas. They are Fourth, Tenth, and Fourteenth Alabama regiments, two Virginia regiments, two North Carolina regiments, Sixth and Sixteenth Mississippi, Eighth Georgia, two other Georgia regiments, one or two Louisiana regiments, Thomas’ artillery (four batteries), Ransom’s regiment of North Carolina cavalry, the heavy guns formerly at Leesburg, said to be from twenty to twenty-five in number, and generally large rifled guns. I think the number and caliber of these guns exaggerated; there were probably ten to twelve. The total being thirteen or fourteen regiments of infantry, one regiment of cavalry, and four light batteries.

The railways in the South are represented to be in miserable condition, both as regards tracks and rolling stock, so the progress of these troops was probably slow.

It is represented that the energetic steps taken by the rebel Government in reference to the conscription have filled their regiments.

I learn to-day that General R. E. Lee commands in front of me, having Johnston under him, Lee being now Commander-in-Chief of the rebels, and that their force in and around Yorktown numbers more than 80,000 men.

I would recommend to you to make no offensive movement beyond New Berne until you have secured Fort Macon; also to be well on the alert against an attempt to turn your left flank.


I hope the Department may be able to let you have some of the heavy guns used in the siege of Fort Pulaski.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General.


WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington City, D. C., April 25, 1862.

Major-General BURNSIDE:

GENERAL: Your dispatches by Major Sherman and by Captain Cutting have been received, and you will please accept my thanks for your very full and satisfactory report of the operations under your command.

The Van Alen Cavalry [Third New York] are under orders to join you. Two batteries are embarking here to-day. These comprise all the re-enforcements you asked for.

The President as well as the country at large feels great interest in everything concerning the safety and success of your expedition, and no effort of the Department will be spared in supporting you.

Appointments of your staff were ordered, as you desired, immediately upon the receipt of your letter naming the persons you desired appointed. We hope soon to hear that Fort Macon is in your possession. The operations at Yorktown and Corinth are now the subjects of great interest. No doubt is entertained that Generals McClellan and Halleck will be entirely successful. Your limited force and the inability to increase its numbers at present will necessarily prevent your engaging in active operations to any great extent until the issue is determined at Yorktown. From your communications we are led to believe that you feel yourself entirely secure in your present position.

I shall be glad to hear from you as often as it is possible for you to report, and with sincere regard remain, truly, yours,

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.



HDQRS. DEPT. OF NORTH CAROLINA, New Berne, April 28, 1862.

Whoever, after the issue of this order, shall, within the limits to which the Union arms may extend in this department, utter one word against the Government of these United States, will be at once arrested and closely confined. It must be distinctly understood that this department is under martial law, and treason, expressed or implied, will meet with a speedy punishment.

The military governor of New Berne is charged with a strict execution of this order within the bounds of his control.

By command of Maj. Gen. A. E. Burnside:

LEWIS RICHMOND, Assistant Adjutant-General.


Abstract from return of the Department of North Carolina, Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside commanding, for April, 1862.

Troops.Present for duty.Aggregate present.Aggregate present and absent.
1st Division1844,8366,0107,058
2d Division1524,3815,3356,099
3d Division832,2102,6493,259
4th Brigade802,1282,5342,701

Organization of troops in the Department of North Carolina April 30, 1862.




General AMBROSE E. BURNSIDE, Commanding Department of North Carolina, New Berne.

GENERAL: I am now having four companies Eighth Connecticut placed on board the Highland Light, and expect to have him start for New Berne this p.m. The other companies have not yet reached Morehead City.

The Union has not yet arrived. As soon as she does I will start the balance of the regiment.

The Fourth Rhode Island is now quartered in Beaufort.

I have made Colonel Rodman military governor of the Beaufort district, and Major Allen provost-marshal.

Captain Morris’ and Captain Ammon’s companies are now in the fort.

The guns and mortars from our batteries have been brought to the fort.

Our camp on the Banks is by degrees being broken up. I am having everything there brought down to the fort and everything at Carolina City brought down to Morehead.

I keep the two launches on picket duty up Bogue Sound toward Swansborough.

I am informed that the rebel cavalry are still in that vicinity, and I would particularly request that a gunboat be sent through Bogue Inlet into White Oak River, and directed to keep a lookout for the rebels in that quarter.

The Chippewa has returned, having delivered her prisoners to a rebel steamer near Fort Caswell. While there Captain Bryson learned that the Nashville had run into New Inlet on the 26th. On the 24th she started in and ran aground, and for some unaccountable reason she was permitted to remain there until sufficiently lightened to pass inside the bar. She is reported to have 16,000 stand of arms and a tremendous quantity of gunpowder. Awful, is it not?

Well, can’t we take Fort Caswell and the adjacent batteries? I believe we can.

Captain Bryson, of the Chippewa, has furnished me with a copy of the statement of two deserters from Fort Caswell. I inclose copy.

1 p.m.-The Union has just arrived, with the cattle and potatoes. The Highland Light has not got under way as yet. There is much trouble in bringing the troops and baggage over from the Banks to Morehead City. I will start her off as soon as she gets four companies on board.

To-morrow the Chippewa goes to Cape Fear River. The State of Georgia follows in a day or two and the bark Gemsbok goes to Hampton Roads. This will leave only one vessel here, the Daylight, Captain Lockwood. Now, I sincerely hope Commodore Rowan will send one of his vessels to the White Oak and Swansborough district. It will be of immense service all around.

The citizens of Beaufort are after me on the negro question. They want me to prevent the slaves from coming within our lines. I tell them I can use no force to aid them in recovering their negroes; at the same time, if they can prevail on the negroes to go home, I am perfectly willing and satisfied. I can furnish them no aid or assistance, and at the same time will not permit any disturbance in camp.

Yours, faithfully,



P. S.-The Chippewa and State of Georgia both go to Cape Fear, and the Gemsbok goes North. This will leave only one steamer here.

The gunboats will take all the coal now here.

Please have another schooner sent.



Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: I have the honor to report that the only thing of moment that has occurred since the fall of Fort Macon was a skirmish that occurred between three or four companies of the enemy’s cavalry and 30 or 40 of our men, temporarily mounted, under the command of Colonel Egloffstein, of the One hundred and third New York, which resulted in a loss on our side of 1 private killed and Colonel Egloffstein and 2 privates wounded. The colonel was shot in the leg just below the knee, making a painful wound, which will probably disable him from service for some three months. The rebels were dispersed, with a loss of 3 killed, 8 wounded, and 3 taken prisoners. We captured 5 horses with full cavalry equipments. Our pickets are constantly annoyed by the enemy’s cavalry, and we have this week lost 2 killed and 3 prisoners. Our losses in these little renconters are more than compensated for by the losses of the enemy. Our infantry pickets compete remarkably well with the enemy’s cavalry, and had we one cavalry regiment here I feel sure that we could keep the two cavalry regiments of the enemy which are now in our front at a respectful distance, and at the proper time would drive in every one of their outposts. We look with great anxiety for the arrival of the cavalry and light artillery ordered here. All the troops destined for this department can be transported to Beaufort Harbor in large vessels and landed at the wharf at Morehead City, where there is some 17 or 18 feet of water. We are repairing Fort Macon as rapidly as possible, and I am gradually withdrawing General Parke’s (First) brigade to this place, with a view to leaving some five companies in Fort Macon and five in the town of Beaufort and Morehead City as guards. The main fort on the outskirts of this town is now about finished, and the smaller fort, which will complete the line of fortifications, is commenced. These forts are built not only with a view to hold the place with a small force, but to give occupation to the hundreds of negroes that are flocking to us. They will make our base more secure, and thereby add greatly to our strength in an advanced movement into the interior.

By the next mail I hope to forward you the detailed report of General Parke of the siege of Fort Macon, and at the same time I will forward to the Department a more intelligible statement of our condition, strength, and resources.

The three definite objects of my expedition have been accomplished, and the remaining ones were necessarily left to a certain extent to my discretion, as it was impossible to predict all the changes that might occur in the mean time. Of course I do not consider my work as finished, and shall be glad to receive more definite instructions, if the interests of the service require it. My own view is that a movement upon Goldsborough and Raleigh in force is the proper one and I am quite sure that General McClellan is of the same opinion. With these two places {p.384} in our possession, Wilmington and Fort Caswell will surely be taken in time; but I will speak of this matter more fully in my next.

The health of the command is improving, but our ranks are still slim, and I hope the Department will deem it for the interest of the service to request the Governors of the States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Rhode Island to send us recruits enough to fill our regiments to the maximum standard.

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

A. E. BURNSIDE, Major-General, Commanding Department of North Carolina.



Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: I have the honor to report that since my last dispatch one of General Parke’s regiments, the Eighth Connecticut, has been transferred to this place from Beaufort, and I shall at once order up the Fourth Rhode Island, leaving the Fifth Rhode Island Battalion at Beaufort and Fort Macon as garrison.

From information obtained through our spies I am satisfied that the force in the neighborhood of Kinston and Goldsborough is diminishing rather than increasing, and had we to-day a cavalry regiment and two batteries of artillery, and the locomotives, cars, and wagons required for, I should initiate a movement in that direction. We are expecting them hourly, and are convinced that nothing but the heavy requisitions upon the different Departments has necessarily delayed their arrival.

General Ransom, formerly of the United States Cavalry, is posted 6 miles this side of Kinston with two regiments of infantry, two of cavalry, and one or two batteries of artillery of six pieces each, with no intrenchments other than abatis. General Branch is posted at Kinston and its neighborhood with four regiments of infantry and one or two batteries of artillery; he and Ransom together having just three batteries of artillery, but we have not been able to ascertain positively which has the two batteries.

General Holmes, late of the U. S. Army, commands the department, and has his headquarters at Goldsborough. The force in that neighborhood is variously estimated at from 5,000 to 15,000. I am satisfied that the lower number is the nearest to the absolute fact.

The possession of Beaufort Harbor renders the transportation of troops to this department very easy, and if a movement in force into the interior, with a view to occupying Goldsborough and Raleigh and thereby cutting off the retreat of the rebels, who will in all probability be dispersed by General McClellan, be desirable, the necessary force can easily be brought to this point, and I am not sure that the object cannot be accomplished with the re-enforcements of cavalry and artillery already ordered to this point; but I shall make no hazardous movement until I hear more definitely from the Department or of the result of the movement before Yorktown.

Your kind letter of the 25th ultimo warrants me in remaining on the defensive until such time as I think that my force here can be used as an auxiliary or a diversion. In the mean time I would be glad to receive any re-enforcements that it may be found for the interests of the service {p.385} to send me, in order that I may carry out more active field operations. I am becoming more convinced every day of the importance of occupying Goldsborough and Raleigh; you will readily see the reason for this conviction; but I would not, if I could, disturb the organization of the forces of the different columns now moving upon the enemy, unless it was for the interest of the public service.

In the first part of my dispatch I stated that I believed that the force in front of us was diminishing rather than increasing. My reason for coming to this conclusion is that one of our spies informed me this evening that General Branch was to leave with a considerable portion of his brigade for Virginia. If this statement should be confirmed and the cavalry and artillery should arrive I may make a movement in that direction, and I hope that whatever the result may be the Department will not consider that I am transcending my orders.

Another mail will leave here to-morrow, by which I will send a dispatch.

We are very much in need of the locomotives, cars, and wagons required for, all of which can now be sent to Beaufort Harbor in heavy-draught vessels.

Should it be deemed advisable to send re-enforcements to this department I hope it will be done with a view to leaving Generals Foster, Reno, and Parke in command of divisions. By their untiring industry and gallantry they deserve to remain as permanent commanders in this department; without them the work that has been done here could not have been accomplished. I have already recommended them to the Department for promotion, and hope it may be found for the interest of the public service to grant the request.

I have authorized the organization of the First North Carolina Union Volunteers. The movement was initiated by the Union men in and about Washington, and I have encouraged it to the extent of feeding, clothing, and arming the - vicinity, and have promised to recommend to the Department that they be mustered and paid. Captain Potter, General Foster’s chief commissary, has been appointed colonel, and Mr. Respess, whose father was mayor of Washington and is now in prison in Richmond, has been appointed lieutenant-colonel. I hope that the regiment will be filled up within a very short time, but would not for a moment try to impress the Department with the idea that it will be done. I shall do all in my power to accomplish it, and trust my action will meet with the approval of the Government.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

A. E. BURNSIDE, Major-General, Commanding Department of North Carolina.


BEAUFORT, May 5-9.30 p.m.


MY DEAR GENERAL: The adjutant of the Ninth New Jersey has just come in with a man from near Newport Bridge, who brings in the report that the enemy is crossing the White Oak Creek in force from Swansborough

I wrote you by the adjutant, who has started on his return to Newport, and directed him to forward the letter to you.

As the Allison did not get off to-day, as was expected, I will dispatch her early to-morrow morning with this.


The man who brings the report is a Union man, named Gainer, and he gets his information from a paroled prisoner by the name of Jones, who lives about 6 miles to the westward of Newport Bridge.

Jones says: “We will see hot work about Newport Bridge before Saturday night; that 10,000 troops are crossing from Swansborough.”

Now I can’t believe any such story, but I should like to feel sure that it is all false. I have requested the colonel of the Ninth New Jersey to send out a scout and inform you directly of the result.

I will see Commander Lockwood and request him to keep his steamer near Morehead City, and I told the Ninth New Jersey that if they were too hotly pressed to fall back on Morehead.

It may be that the rebels at Wilmington have armed the militia and drafted men with the arms brought in by the Nashville, and are marching there in hopes of again destroying the Newport Bridge.

I will send the Little Union up the Sound to-morrow. A gunboat in White Oak Creek would fix this whole business and make me feel perfectly easy, and a squadron of cavalry would now be of infinite service.

A paroled officer applied to me to-day for permission to go with, his wife to Swansborough. In course of conversation he said that he expected to be exchanged in a week. It may be that this fellow has heard of a probable advance from Swansborough.

Faithfully, yours,



FORT MONROE, VA., May 11, 1862.

Major-General BURNSIDE:

DEAR SIR: You will be pleased to learn that yesterday General Wool advanced with 5,000 men on Norfolk. The city surrendered, General Huger having withdrawn his force. We are now in possession of Norfolk and Portsmouth. This morning the rebels set fire to the Merrimac and blew her up. General Wool will throw an additional force of 2,000 men into Norfolk without delay.

I send you a copy of the last dispatch received at 5 o’clock last evening-from General McClellan. We have been aware for some days that the enemy were contemplating the abandonment of Norfolk. General Huger continued there until yesterday with 5,000 men. Three days ago Commander Rodgers, with the Galena and two other gunboats, were sent up the James River toward Richmond to co-operate with McClellan. When last heard from yesterday they were “picking their way slowly up.” The Monitor and Stevens will be sent up to-day.

General Wool proposes without delay to move on to Suffolk, and would be glad to co-operate with you by your advancing, if you deem it prudent, to Weldon and seizing the railroad there.

We have no certain intelligence in respect to the movements of the rebels southward. A large force is no doubt in front of General McClellan. Whether they will give him battle at or in front of Richmond you can as well judge as any one else. The co-operation of yourself and General Wool must undoubtedly produce favorable results, and communication between you and him should be established at the earliest possible moment.

My last advices from Corinth were three days ago, at which time a severe battle between the forces of Beauregard and Halleck was impending. It has no doubt taken place by this time. Such, at least, is my impression.


Captain Richmond informs me that the cavalry you sent for were arriving, and that you need more infantry. I regret to say that the Government has not at this moment any troops that can be sent you. Generals McClellan and Halleck are both urgent for re-enforcements, which cannot be given. When your cavalry and artillery arrive nothing further can be sent until the recruits are raised.

The co-operation of yourself and General Wool and the operations to be conducted by you are left to your discretion under the circumstances in which you may be placed. Frequent advices are desired. The President, Secretary Chase, and I have been here five days, and expect to return to-day.

Yours, truly,

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.



Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

I have fully established my connection with the troops near West Point, and the dangerous movement has passed. The West Point Railway is not very much injured; materials for repairs, such as rails &c., cars, and engines may now be sent to me. Should Norfolk be taken and the Merrimac destroyed I can change my line to the James River and dispense with the railroad. I shall probably occupy New Kent in force to-morrow and then make my first preparations for battle. As it is, my troops are in advance of their supplies. I must so arrange my depot that we can follow up success. When at New Kent I will be in position to make a thorough examination of the country, so as to act understandingly. General Johnston cannot well be in front of Frémont for two reasons: First, he has no business there; Second, I know that I fought him on Monday, and that he is now on the Chickahominy. I have used his vacated headquarters from day to day. He is certainly in command here with all the troops he can gather. Two or three more of the cavalry regiments I left on the Potomac would be very acceptable. I am overworking what I have.

GEO. B. MCCLELLAN, Major-General.



Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of yours of the 11th instant by the hand of Captain Richmond.

After dispatching him to Old Point Comfort from Oregon Inlet I visited Elizabeth City, and sent other spies up through the country, from whom I learned that Norfolk had been evacuated and occupied by General Wool, and upon the receipt of your dispatch I immediately returned to this place with a view to making arrangements for a move upon Weldon by way of Winton. I expected to find the horses and wagons for which I had required at this place, but as yet none have arrived. They are absolutely necessary to me in order to move into the {p.388} interior either from Winton or from here. From the loss of horses during the storms at Hatteras our means of transportation were much reduced, and we could not move now with more than 20 to 25 wagons after the different posts occupied by me have been supplied. You will readily see that this would be entirely inadequate, as it would not carry the ammunition necessary, to say nothing of the cooking utensils, commissary supplies, and forage. I should not wait for means of transporting tents, baggage, &c., as at this season of the year they could easily be dispensed with. Had we the cars and engines that have been required for, a movement might be initiated in the direction of Goldsborough and Raleigh. None of the re-enforcements sent to me brought any means of transportation. You will remember these requisitions were sent in immediately after our arrival in New Berne.

I beg you will not think these remarks are made in a complaining spirit, for I am fully conscious of the heavy draughts that have been made on the different bureaus in your Department, and often wonder how you have accomplished so much.

Forces like mine, which are occupying position to hold the enemy in check or to create diversions, should be entirely subservient of course to the great armies in the East and West that are now in front of the enemy, and I again beg that you will not feel that my frequent requisitions for re-enforcements and transportation are made in any other spirit than that of a desire to be useful.

I am on the eve of ordering some small movements, in conjunction with the Navy, up the Chowan River, thus threatening the enemy’s communications, and have already ordered a reconnaissance through the Dismal Swamp Canal with a view to opening communication with General Wool through that channel. There are no troops along it, except a few militia pickets, but it is understood that the banks have been cut and the water let out between some of the locks. As it has turned out, it is very fortunate that the locks were not destroyed by General Reno, as they will prove useful to us now in communicating with Norfolk.

I shall write General Wool by this mail, and if upon hearing from him it may be deemed advisable for us to make a junction or co-operate with each other I will act accordingly. Everything depends, however, upon the position occupied by General McClellan’s forces. If, as I believe, he is in Richmond, and the enemy in full retreat southward-the transportation necessary for a movement into the interior will not be so great, as a junction will very soon be formed with the main body, unless the enemy should retreat in such force as to drive us back. We are anxiously waiting dispatches from Old Point Comfort.

Day before yesterday I sent out two parties in the direction of Trenton and Kinston-one on the north and one on the south side of the Trent River-for the purpose of driving in the enemy’s pickets and outposts and ascertaining their strength. A brisk skirmish ensued on the north side, upon which we killed 1 lieutenant and 9 privates and took 2 prisoners. Our loss was 1 lieutenant and 4 privates taken prisoners and 1 officer wounded-Major Fitzsimmons, of the Third New York Cavalry. Their outposts were driven in, and quarters, stables, &c., destroyed. The party on the south side of the river met with a large force of cavalry, and a skirmish, ensued in which we killed 1 rebel captain and wounded several of their men, without sustaining any loss on our side. The force is just returning to its camp, but I have not yet learned the exact result of the reconnaissance.

In my next I will give you the details of this reconnaissance. I have {p.389} not been well for a few days past, otherwise would have sent this mail off before. To-morrow I hope to be out as usual.

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

A. E. BURNSIDE, Major-General, Commanding Department of North Carolina.



General GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Commanding the Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: I heard of your victories at Williamsburg and West Point, the evacuation of Norfolk, and the destruction of the Merrimac while I was on a visit to Roanoke Island and Elizabeth City, and I immediately returned to this place with the hope of finding the engines ears, and wagons required for immediately after the battle of New Berne, but none have yet arrived.

I am very much crippled for want of land transportation. I could not to-day muster a train of 25 wagons, which you know would not be sufficient to carry my ammunition, and, as you see, it would be almost fatal for me to make a move into the interior before they arrive.

I am anxiously awaiting dispatches from you before attempting another move. Everything is quiet in this vicinity, and I think the rebel force at Kinston, Raleigh, and Goldsborough are about the same as when I last wrote. The health of the command is improving.

Capt. Thomas P. Ives will bear this dispatch to you.

Most heartily congratulating you on your brilliant success, I remain, general, your most obedient servant,

A. E. BURNSIDE, Major-General, Commanding Department of North Carolina.



Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: I have the honor to report that since the sending of my last dispatch I have received accurate reports from the commanders of the reconnoitering parties in the direction of Kinston. Our exact loss was 2 wounded and 7 prisoners. That of the enemy was 11 killed and 15 or 20 wounded and 4 prisoners.

It was ascertained by this reconnaissance that the enemy had on the south side of the Trent River, in the neighborhood of Trenton, about 1,500 cavalry. The road from that place to Kinston is very heavily picketed, the main body being in and beyond Kinston, under the command of Ransom.

The force at Kinston and Goldsborough will probably concentrate, in case we advance up the country, at Falling Creek, about 7 miles above Kinston, on the railroad, at which point they are building some light breastworks, but are putting no heavy guns in position. Goldsborough is not being fortified at all, but we learn that Raleigh has been. The force on this line at this time, as near as we can learn, is two regiments of cavalry, four light batteries, and some fifteen regiments of {p.390} infantry. This does not include any of the force along the Weldon and Wilmington Railroad, which just now is very considerable, all the bridges being very heavily guarded.

Our engines, cars, &c., have not yet arrived. A portion of the wagons have come in, but none of the horses or harness.

I have heard nothing from Roanoke Island or that neighborhood for two or three days.

My medical director is establishing a general hospital at Beaufort, to which point all the serious cases will be transported as soon as possible. The location is much more healthy than this, and by concentrating the sick in one general hospital there it will require fewer surgeons to attend them. A large hotel there has been appropriated to that purpose. Could I have known that the delay here in the arrival of transportation would have been so great, I think I would have made a demonstration against Fort Caswell which might have resulted in its fall. However, both Wilmington and Fort Caswell can easily be taken if we once get possession of Goldsborough and Raleigh.

I have been on the eve several times of expressing the opinion to you, which if correct is of great importance, but have hesitated to do it, fearing that I may not be correct. It is this: The Convention in this State is divided in opinion as to the present mode of action to such an extent that it failed to take any action at all when it last met, preferring to await the issue of the great events that are now transpiring. I am satisfied that, if the rebel army in Virginia is either captured or dispersed or forced to retreat beyond the lines of this State, the State will at once return to its allegiance through its Convention by a considerable majority. There is much true loyalty here, and all the people are heartily sick of the war, and are very much exercised lest their own State should be made the next battle ground. They have been taught that the institution of slavery, which their leaders have made them believe is a great element of strength, is in fact an element of weakness. Wherever the Union arms have made a lodgment they have lost the entire control of their slaves, and they are quite convinced that, if the slave States formed a recognized government independent of the North, we would not make war upon them with the same leniency that we do now, but would use this element against them with very great success.

The arrival of Governor Stanley will, I hope, do a great deal of good. You are looking at this subject of course in all its bearings upon the different sections of the country, and will give to these opinions only the weight they deserve.

In the absence of definite instructions upon the subject of fugitive slaves I have adopted the following policy:

First. To allow all slaves who come to my lines to enter.

Second. To organize them and enroll them, taking their names, the names of their masters, and their place of residence.

Third. To give them employment as far as possible, and to exercise toward old and young a judicious charity.

Fourth. To deliver none to their owners under any circumstances and allow none of them to leave this department until I receive your definite instructions.

To-morrow I shall go to Beaufort and Fort Macon, if I am well enough, and from thence to Roanoke and the Chowan River, unless I should hear something definite from Fortress Monroe which requires my immediate attention here.

I was not as well when I last wrote you as I thought, and have consequently {p.391} had to remain indoors, but I feel now that I am quite recovered.

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

A. E. BURNSIDE, Major-General, Commanding Department of North Carolina.



General AMBROSE E. BURNSIDE, Commanding U. S. Troops, New Berne, N. C.:

GENERAL: In reply to your letter of yesterday (but dated 17th instant*) I have the honor to state that your request shall at once be communicated to the General Commanding our troops, and, if acceded to, the parties desiring to return to New Berne will be speedily forwarded by flag of truce. Permit me to state that I have no doubt that every act consistent with public safety will be reciprocated on our part.

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

R. RANSOM, JR., Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.

* Not found.


WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington City, D. C., May 20, 1862.

Major-General BURNSIDE, Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: I have the pleasure of presenting to you the Hon. Edward Stanley, who has been appointed Military Governor of the State of North Carolina.

The nature and extent of Governor Stanley’s authority and jurisdiction are expressed in his commission, which will be exhibited to you Between him and yourself the President expects cordial co-operation for the restoration of the authority of the Federal Government. The province of Governor Stanley is to establish and maintain, under military form, the functions of civil government until the loyal inhabitants of North Carolina shall be able to assert their constitutional rights and privileges.

In order to maintain peace and enforce respect the Governor must be supported by a sufficient military force, to be detailed by you from your command, and report to him and act under his direction.

You will please detail such force as may be adequate for this purpose, to be designated as a Governor’s Guard, and to be commanded by a competent officer. You will also, at all times, upon the Governor’s requisition, support his authority and enforce his orders by a military force competent for the occasion.

The well-known patriotism and discretion for which the Governor and yourself are distinguished render it superfluous to give any further general instructions. The President expects from your harmonious and intelligent action the most favorable results.

With great respect, I am, yours, &c.,

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.


HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Tunstall’s Station, May 21, 1862.

Maj. Gen. AMBROSE E. BURNSIDE, Commanding Department of North Carolina:

MY DEAR BURN.: Your dispatch and kind letter received. I have instructed Seth to reply to the official letter and now acknowledge the kind private note. It always does me good, in the midst of my cares and perplexities, to see your wretched old scrawling. I have terrible troubles to contend with, but have met them with a good heart, like your good old self, and have thus far struggled through successfully. Our progress has been slow, but that is due to ignorance of the country (we have to feel our way everywhere; the maps are worthless), the narrowness, small number, and condition of the roads, which become impassable for trains after a day’s rain, of which we have had a great deal.

I feel very proud of Yorktown; it and Manassas will be my brightest chaplets in history; for I know that I accomplished everything in both places by pure military skill. I am very proud and grateful to God that he allowed me to purchase such great success at so trifling a loss of life. We came near being badly beaten at Williamsburg. I arrived on the field at 5 p.m. and found that all thought we were whipped and in for a disaster. You would have been glad to see, old fellow, how the men cheered and brightened up when they saw me. In five minutes after I reached the ground a possible defeat was changed into certain victory. The greatest moral courage I ever exercised was that night, when, in the face of urgent demands from almost all quarters for re-enforcements to hold our own, I quietly sent back the troops I had ordered up before I reached the field. I was sure that Johnston would leave during the night if he understood his business, or that I could be able to thrash him in the morning by a proper use of the force I had. It turned out that Jo. left! Hancock conducted himself magnificently; his charge was elegant!

I expect to fight a desperate battle in front of Richmond, and against superior numbers, somewhat intrenched. The Government have deliberately placed me in this position. If I win, the greater the glory. If I lose, they will be damned forever, both by God and men.

Well, I have bored you long enough, old fellow. I will merely add that my light troops have crossed the Chickahominy at Bottom’s Bridge this morning, 10 miles from Richmond, and that the advanced guard, under Stoneman, has driven in everything upon New Bridge (on my right), 6 miles from Richmond. The crisis cannot long be deferred. I pray for God’s blessing on our arms, and rely far more on his goodness than I do on my own poor intellect. I sometimes think now that I can almost realize that Mahomet was sincere. When I see the hand of God guarding one so weak as myself, I can almost think myself a chosen instrument to carry out his schemes. Would that a better man had been selected.*


If I thrash these rascals we will soon be in direct communication, and I shall then wish to give you a command from this army to add to the noble men you now have.

Good-by, and God bless you, Burn. With the sincere hope that we may soon shake hands, I am, as ever, your sincere friend,


* Some personal matter omitted.



HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Camp near Tunstall’s Station, Va., May 21, 1862.

Maj. Gen. AMBROSE E. BURNSIDE, Commanding Department of North Carolina, New Berne:

GENERAL: By direction of the general commanding I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatch of the 17th instant and to communicate the following in reply:

Assuming your force to be about 15,000, in the event of a movement on Winton, &c., you would probably have to leave at least 5,000 in New Berne, 1,000 as a railway guard, 1,000 at Beaufort and Fort Macon, 500 at Hatteras Inlet, and 1,000 at Roanoke, making 8,500 in all, and leaving not more than 6,000 to 6,500 men for active operations, a force too small to do much good; but by operating on Goldsborough, you would have to leave only, say, 1,000 at Roanoke, 500 at Beaufort, and 1,000 at New Berne, giving you 12,500 available in the field. The general, therefore, thinks that a cautious yet bold advance on Goldsborough as soon as the necessary transportation arrives would produce a better effect, and would neutralize a larger portion of the enemy’s force than any other movement you could make.

We are moving on steadily and as rapidly as the state of the roads hitherto, supplies, and the necessity for extended reconnaissances have allowed. Our light troops crossed the Chickahominy early this morning at Bottom’s Bridge and the railway bridge (both of which had been burnt) without meeting the enemy, but we have as yet no reliable intelligence of his position or movements. A heavy force will be thrown across without delay.

Everything goes to show that the enemy is before us in superior force, perhaps double our own available strength at present, and the general is still of the opinion that they will make a decided stand this side of Richmond, as is evidently their best policy. But even should they abandon Richmond, it may well be to offer battle at some point farther South in Virginia and off the navigable streams.

We command the navigation of the James River up to Wall’s Bluff, on the other bank about 8 miles below Richmond, where the gunboats were repulsed on the 15th.

You are probably informed that General McDowell was ordered on the 17th to move on Richmond by the line of the Fredericksburg Railway and to effect a junction with this army on our right, keeping his forces always so as to cover the line of approach to Washington. McDowell will bring from 35,000 to 40,000 men with him.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. WILLIAMS, Assistant Adjutant-General.



Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington:

SIR: I have the honor to report that Governor Stanley arrived at this port night before last, and is fast making his arrangements to assume the duties assigned to him. He handed me your letter of instructions to me, which I will most cheerfully obey to the best of my ability. I have consulted fully with the Governor,and find that our views in {p.394} reference to the course that should be adopted in this State by the General Government are remarkably coincident, and you may be sure that I will grant him every facility in my power to carry out these views. His arrival here is a source of very great relief to me, as there are many civil cases here that require early attention. In a few days I will be able to report to you more definitely the arrangements made to carry out the instructions to the Governor and myself.

You will have seen in the papers that his brother was arrested by my forces a few days ago. Upon investigation of the charges upon which he was arrested I was very glad to find they were not of a sufficiently serious nature to require his detention, and I therefore released him the day before the Governor’s arrival. The prisoners brought by him from Washington City have been sent to their homes under a flag of truce. We are now receiving our prisoners from Salisbury, N. C., at the rate of 200 per day. They will be forwarded to New York with the least possible delay. There will be some 1,300 non-commissioned officers and privates in all. General Holmes, the rebel commander in this State, has no authority to release the commissioned officers confined in Salisbury, among whom are Colonels Corcoran and Willcox. I shall continue my efforts in their behalf, and do not despair of obtaining for them an early release.

I shall send by the steamer carrying the prisoners duplicate rolls, one to yourself; the other to Colonel Tompkins, chief quartermaster, New York City. Would it not be well to send from your office by telegraph instructions to Colonel Tompkins to furnish these men with immediate transportation to their homes?

Nothing of importance has occurred in a military way in this department since my last dispatch. We are anxiously waiting the result of General McClellan’s movement before Richmond.

None of our teams or locomotives have yet arrived.

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

A. E. BURNSIDE, Major-General, Commanding Department of North Carolina.



Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: I have the honor to report that during the last week the naval force in these waters has been reduced by sending two vessels (the Underwriter and the Valley City) North for repairs, and by ordering two (the Delaware and Southfield) to join Flag-Officer Goldsborough on the James River.

I am not disposed to question the wisdom of these orders, but I deem it my duty to remind you that we hold, by means of the military and naval force here, all the towns in these waters, and if the number of naval vessels is to be diminished, it will be necessary to vacate some of the places. In every place that has been visited by either the Army or Navy some Union feeling has been displayed, and in some of the places the American flag has been hoisted upon the public buildings by citizens of their own volition, and it would be manifest injustice to leave these people without a protecting force to the oppression of the rebel Government.

Without wishing to complain of the Navy Department, which has {p.395} done so much for our cause in these waters, I beg that you will remind the Secretary of the Navy of these facts, and request that, as far as the interest of the public service will allow, the naval force under Commodore Rowan be strengthened rather than weakened.

In my previous communication I rather exceeded my province by stating that Governor Stanley’s views and my own, as to the policy the Government wished to adopt in this State, “were remarkably coincident.” It would have been quite enough for me to have said that Governor Stanley, being the representative of the Government here, will be sustained by all the force under my control. You will readily see that the civil policy to be adopted by him will cover a very wide range, and may in many cases not be in accordance with the views of a majority of the people under my command; but we are here to sustain the Government, and as long as Governor Stanley is its representative his wishes shall be carried out at any cost.

I avail myself of the departure of one of the naval vessels to send you this hasty dispatch, and I beg that you will not understand by it that any disagreement has occurred between the Governor and myself, for I simply want to avoid the trouble that may arise from an uncalled-for indorsement of future events, of which I necessarily know so little.

I am sorry again to report that none of our engines, cars, &c., have arrived.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

A. E. BURNSIDE, Major-General.


WASHINGTON, June 3, 1862.

Major-General BURNSIDE, Care of General Dix, New Berne via Fort Monroe:

Your dispatches of May 19, 23, and 30 have been received. A copy of the last-mentioned dispatch has been communicated to the Secretary of the Navy and also to the President. The Quartermaster-General informs me that the locomotives and cars, to wit, four locomotives and fifty cars, have been shipped to you from Baltimore on fifteen schooners. General Wool has been transferred to Baltimore. General Dix takes his place. The troops at Old Point are probably taken by General McClellan. You will please place yourself in communication with General Dix. I will communicate more fully by mail.

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.


WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington City, June 3, 1862.

Hon. EDWARD STANLEY, Military Governor of North Carolina, New Berne, N. C.:

SIR: The House of Representatives of the United States on the 2d instant adopted a resolution of which the following is a copy:

Resolved, That the President of the United States be requested to communicate to this House-

First. What powers have been conferred upon Hon. Edward Stanley, as Military Governor of North Carolina, or as the agent of the Government in said State, under the appointment of the President.

Second. Whether the said Edward Stanley has interfered to prevent the education of children, white or black, in said State; and if so, by what authority, if any?


Third. If the said Edward Stanley has been instructed by the Government to prevent such education, to what extent and for what purpose were such instructions given.

The President has referred the resolution to this Department for reply, but as it has no information touching the matter covered by the second of the above inquiries, you are hereby requested to furnish the Department with a full and immediate answer to the same.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.


NAVY DEPARTMENT, June 4, 1862.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 2d instant, inclosing copy of a part of a dispatch from General Burnside, commanding the Department of North Carolina.

It is not known at this Department what places in North Carolina are occupied by General Burnside and therefore liable to be vacated by him upon the withdrawal of part of the naval force, but it is believed that the enemy’s force both naval and military in those waters is dispersed and destroyed, and the large number of steamers used to accomplish this cannot now all be required there, more especially as an urgent call has been made upon this Department for an increase of force in the Virginia waters. There remain in the North Carolina waters, after the withdrawal complained of by General Burnside, seventeen naval vessels.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,



WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington City, D. C., June 4, 1862.


SIR: In answer to a resolution of the House of Representatives, dated on the 2d of June, in relation to the power conferred on the Military Governor of North Carolina, I have the honor to state:

1. That a copy of the letter of appointment and instructions to Governor Stanley are hereto annexed.

2. That Governor Stanley has not been instructed by the Government to prevent the education of children, white or black, in the State of North Carolina.

3. That this Department has no official information that Governor Stanley has interfered to prevent the education of white or black children in said State, but that a copy of the resolution of the House has been transmitted to him for report upon his action on the subject, which, when received, will be communicated to you.

Your obedient servant,

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

[Inclosure No. 1.]

WAR DEPARTMENT, May 19, 1862.

Hon. EDWARD STANLEY, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: You are hereby appointed Military Governor of the State of North Carolina, with authority to exercise and perform, within the limits {p.397} of that State, all and singular the powers, duties, and functions pertaining to the office of Military Governor (including the power to establish all necessary offices and tribunals and suspend the writ of habeas corpus) during the pleasure of the President or until the loyal inhabitants of that State shall organize a civil government in conformity with the Constitution of the United States

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

[Inclosure No. 2.]

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington City, D. C., May 20, 1862.

Hon. EDWARD STANLEY, Military Governor of North Carolina:

SIR: The commission you have received expresses on its face the nature and extent of the duties and power devolved on you by the appointment [as] Military Governor of North Carolina.

Instructions have been given to Major-General Burnside to aid you in the performance of your duty and the extent of your authority. He has also been instructed to detail an adequate military force for the special purpose of a governor’s guard and to act under your directions.

It is obvious to you that the great purpose of your appointment is to re-establish the authority of the Federal Government in the State of North Carolina and provide the means of maintaining peace and security to the loyal inhabitants of that State until they shall be able to establish a civil government.

Upon your wisdom and energetic action much will depend in accomplishing the result. It is not deemed necessary to give any specific instructions, but rather to confide in your sound discretion to adopt such measures as circumstances may demand. Specific instructions will be given when requested.

You may rely upon the perfect confidence and full support of the Department in the performance of your duties.

With respect, I am, your obedient servant,

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.


FORT MONROE, June 9, 1862-1.30 a.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

I learn here that Commodore Goldsborough has ordered two more gunboats out of our department, the Hunchback and Commodore Perry, two of our best vessels. When the other boats were taken away it created much alarm among the Union people who had made demonstration in our favor in the towns occupied by these boats. It will be disastrous to the Union cause in North Carolina if this policy is carried out. We should have more gunboats instead of less, but will be satisfied with what we have. Seven have already left us. I hope the President will deem it proper to direct by telegraph that this order be revoked; if sent here to me I will transmit it. I am sorry to learn that there is much feeling against Governor Stanley, but I hope the Government will await further developments before condemning him. He is doing much good. I wish I could communicate with you personally, and would, but for going so far from my department. General {p.398} Dix has not troops enough now to co-operate with me against Weldon.



FORT MONROE, June 9, 1862-8.05 a.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

In accordance with your dispatch, requesting me to communicate with General Dix, I thought it best to see him in person. Left my department at 5 p.m. yesterday and came through canal. Shall leave in two hours unless I get other orders from you. I meet General Dix in a few minutes and will telegraph result of conference. In the mean time will be glad to hear from you, and will give any information you may desire.

All quiet in my department. We had a small fight at Washington on Friday last, in which we were victorious.

A. E. BURNSIDE, Major-General.


WASHINGTON, June 9, 1862.

Major-General BURNSIDE, Fort Monroe:

The President is now with me in the Department. We have nothing to communicate, but leave it to you and General Dix to make such military arrangements as you may deem expedient. We would be glad to be informed of the result of your conference. I wish also to know whether there is anything you desire that can be furnished by this Department. Have the cars and locomotives reached you? I would like to know confidentially from you by letter of Governor Stanley’s operations and your opinion of them and what the facts really are.

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.


FORT MONROE, June 9, 1862-1 p.m.


Your telegram received. I have already telegraphed in reference to the co-operation of General Dix and myself. I also referred to Governor Stanley’s policy. It is evidently misunderstood by the Northern people. Mr. Colyer has misrepresented the matter, if newspapers are correct. Governor Stanley is as sound on the Union question as you or I. In answer to a dispatch from me to General McClellan, stating that I was here, he says: “Can you not come up to see me in a special boat?” Shall I go?

A. E. BURNSIDE, Major-General.


WASHINGTON, June 9, 1862.

Major-General BURNSIDE:

I think it would be desirable for you to see and confer with General McClellan, and you have the permission of the Department to do so if your own command does not require your presence. You will advise me before leaving Fort Monroe for New Berne, if convenient to do so.

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.



WASHINGTON, June 9, 1862.

Major-General BURNSIDE, Fort Monroe:

Your dispatch in relation to the gunboats has been laid before the President. He has directed the Hunchback and Perry to remain where they are, and that Goldsborough’s order for their removal be countermanded. This I understand to be satisfactory to you. I should be glad to have a detailed statement of your force and its position.

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.


FORT MONROE, June 9, 1862-5 p.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

Three regiments on Roanoke Island, one at Washington, one at Newport on railroad, and one and a half at Beaufort and Fort Macon; fourteen at New Berne. One regiment artillery and one regiment cavalry and three batteries divided along the different commands. A large portion of the force at New Berne is on picket duty. Regiments average 600 effective men. I leave for McClellan’s at once. Will telegraph you before I return to New Berne.



FORT MONROE, June 11, 1862-10.30 a.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

I have just returned from McClellan’s headquarters, where I passed about six hours. It stormed very hard all day. The roads are in the most wretched condition. I was four and a half hours traveling 9 miles. It is impossible to move artillery whilst they are so bad. But for the railroad, the army could not be subsisted and foraged. The general health was improving. The officers and men are in good spirits. I will write you fully of our consultation about co-operating. I would very much like a personal interview, but feel that I cannot remain away from my department any longer unless you desire it. I would be glad to get any instructions you may have by telegraph.


P. S.-Since writing the foregoing I have just heard from my department by a boat which left Roanoke at 7 o’clock last evening. Everything quiet.



Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

SIR: Your letter of the 3d instant has not received the immediate answer you requested, because I was absent in Beaufort when it arrived.

You send me a copy of the resolution adopted by the Mouse of Representatives {p.400} on the 2d instant, and desire I should furnish the Department with a full and immediate answer to the following part of said resolution:

Second. Whether the said Edward Stanley has interfered to prevent the education of children, white or black, in said State; and, if so, by what authority, if any.

On the 31st day of May last I addressed you a letter, which I presume had not been received when you wrote on the 3d instant. In that letter of the 31st, in reference to matters here, I made the following observations:

The perplexing question of what is to be done with the negroes is constantly presenting itself. I have thus far managed it with discretion. Upon all occasions I say I have no hope of affording redress to the enemies of our country; that the Union is to be restored, cost what it may in blood and treasure, and this is a matter not to be argued.

One person came to me yesterday who had four slaves taken from him, and told they were free by a rude soldier, who cursed his wife. I suggested, first, he must take the oath of allegiance; this he agreed to do. Then I gave him authority to look for his property, advising him to use mildness and persuasion. He did so, and one servant voluntarily returned to the home of a kind master. This has already excited some evil-disposed persons and will be misrepresented.

Almost all the inhabitants have gone away and the belief still exists that it is dangerous for them to return.

The Confederates refuse to allow any persons to come to this place, keeping away even women and children. Unless I can give them some assurance that this is a war of restoration and not of abolition and destruction, no peace can be restored here for many years to come. I am making efforts to induce Union men to come and talk with me. I feel confident I shall be successful in a few weeks.

One person ventured to give me advice. I gave him at once permission to go to New York. The person whose impertinent meddling I rebuked is Mr. H. H. Helper.

A gentleman of good Samaritan inclinations and acts had established a school for negro children. He called and informed me what he was doing, and asked my opinion. I approved all he had done in feeding and clothing the destitute white and black, but told him I had been sent to restore the old order of things. I thought his negro school, if approved by me, would do harm to the Union cause. In a few months we shall know the result of the war. If by Southern folly emancipation comes, their spiritual welfare would not suffer by the delay, for I desired he would give such oral instructions in religions matters as he thought best.

Another reason I urged was, that by one of the cruel necessities of slavery the laws of North Carolina forbade slaves to be taught to read and write, and I would be most unsuccessful in my efforts if I encouraged the violation of her laws. He acquiesced, I thought, cheerfully. If the old residents ever return, Those negroes who have been taught to read and write would be suspected and not benefited by it.

You have no idea how happy the influence has been on the minds of the excellent and severely-punished people of this lonely town. This school affair has already been much misrepresented.

This extract might be sufficient to answer the resolution, but as you request not only an immediate “but a full” answer, it may be proper to add something more.

To the extent mentioned I did interfere, and would most assuredly do so again under the same circumstances.

My authority for so doing was the only instruction given me in your communication of May 20, 1862, in the following words:

It is obvious to you that the great purpose of your appointment is to re-establish the authority of the Federal Government in the State of North Carolina and to provide the means of maintaining peace and security to the loyal inhabitants of that State.

I had these instructions in view when I made the suggestion relative to the negro school.

And in your letter to General Burnside, of date 20th of May, to which you referred me, you state:

The province of Governor Stanley is to re-establish and maintain, under military form, the functions of civil government, until the loyal inhabitants of North Carolina shall be able to assert their constitutional rights and privileges.


I ask to be instructed what “civil government” is here meant, and what are the “constitutional rights and privileges” of the loyal inhabitants of this State? If their property is destroyed or removed before peace is restored, what “rights and privileges” are they to expect?

In the interview with the manager of the schools I made use of no threats, used no discourteous language, and treated the gentleman referred to with all kindness. He called the next morning and informed me he had suspended teaching the negro children. I approved what he had done, but nothing approaching unpleasantness occurred during the interview, nor did the thought enter my mind I had given him offense. Not a word was said, nor any intimation given, of any intention to “enforce” the laws of this State. No such thought was in my mind nor ever can be.

I do not intend to be guilty of disrespect to the Secretary nor to betray too much sensitiveness, and will not therefore comment upon what seems to me to be unusual language in requesting an “immediate” answer.

My position is one of great responsibility. I am ready to meet it. I hope it is an honorable one. It certainly can bring no profit and is not unaccompanied with peril. I have great difficulties to overcome-greater than you suppose-and am entitled to all the confidence and support which I was assured I should have.

I believe the President to be sincere in his various public declarations, and wish to make the people of North Carolina believe him to be sincere and patriotic.

But I am grieved to say that some of the most eminent and influential of our citizens, from listening to oft-repeated slanders, have been persuaded and charge the Southern country is invaded by “an enemy who come to rob us, to murder our people, to emancipate our slaves, and who is now preparing to add a new element to this most atrocious aggression, and involve us in the direful horrors of a servile war. He proposes nothing less than our entire destruction, the total desolation of our country-universal emancipation; to crush us, to wipe out the South, to involve us in irredeemable misery and hopeless ruin.”

Though I know all this is the effect of long-continued excitement, and not words of truth and soberness, but of passion and altogether incorrect in every particular, still they are the words of sincerity, from men of irreproachable lives, who denounced secession as treason down to the day when the North Carolina Convention passed the ordinance of secession.

If this idea, so monstrously incorrect, be in the minds of men of standing and influence, how must the large body of the people regard the action of the General Government?

In view of this most deplorable condition, I avail myself of the privilege I understood from you I should have of asking instructions upon the following points:

1. When slaves are taken from the possession of their loyal masters by violence offered by armed men and negroes, what redress shall be afforded to the owners and what protection for the future?

2. When persons connected with the Army prevail on negroes to leave their masters, shall the loyal master or mistress have permission to prevail on them to return and be protected while so doing?

3. When steamers and vessels are almost daily leaving this State, {p.402} and negroes, the property of loyal citizens, are taken on board without the consent of their owners, who are sometimes widows and orphans, will authority be given to prevent their being removed?

4. In cases where aged and infirm people, who have been always loyal inhabitants and treated with cruelty by secession soldiers because of their loyalty, have had their able-bodied slaves taken away, their barns robbed and fences destroyed, themselves unable from age and infirmity to labor, shall any effort be made, either by persuasion, by the civil authority, or otherwise, to have them delivered up?

5. If the Military Governor shall interfere with any action which it is known will violate the long-established law of North Carolina, and a person connected with the Army on the Sunday following shall make inflammatory appeals to a crowd of several hundred negroes, exhorting them to resort to violence and bloodshed, what action shall be taken by the Governor, if any, to prevent the recurrence of such conduct?

6. When the slaves of loyal citizens, who have never given aid and comfort to the rebellion and sometimes suffered because they did not, are employed by the authorities of the United States in various kinds of labor, can any steps be taken to secure a portion of what is due for their labor to their owners?

These are not cases of imagination; they have occurred and are most of them coming before me for action daily. I will not weary or distress you by the details.

I hope I am not exceeding the duties of my place while I urgently, but most respectfully, request an answer to these questions.

When I receive that answer I shall be able, without delay, to inform the Department how far I can be relied upon to carry out its wishes.

Every day’s experience impresses more forcibly on my mind the conviction, felt by abler and better men than myself, that some course of policy must be adopted as to the disposition of slaves within our lines.

If the Army advances, and their numbers, already large, shall be increased, what is to be done with them? Who will support them or their owners, often loyal and true men, already reduced to want by the rebellion,who can make no crops without their aid?

The expense of feeding the negroes will be enormous. It is estimated that each negro man employed by Government will require in wages and subsistence $40 per month to support himself and family, who generally accompany him.

It is my heartfelt desire to restore to my native State the countless blessings conferred by the Union. I am ready to make any sacrifice a gentleman and patriot can make to do so. Ent if I cannot rely upon the “perfect confidence and full support of the War Department,” which was promised me, I desire to know it.

The loss of my humble abilities will not be felt by this great country. If I am to act without instructions and not to be supported when I pursue the deliberate dictates of my judgment and conscience, then I ask-the only favor I ever asked for my personal benefit of any administration-to be allowed to tender my “immediate” resignation, and to be restored as early as possible to the honor of a private station.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

EDWARD STANLEY, Military Governor of North Carolina.




Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: I have the honor to report that Governor Stanley arrived at this place yesterday, after having made an extended visit to Washington, N. C., which has, in my opinion, resulted in very great good to the Union cause. He has no doubt given you a detailed account of his visit. I had a lengthy conversation with him last evening, in which I gave him as accurate a statement as I could of the interview which I had the pleasure of having with the President, yourself; and other distinguished gentlemen, and he expressed himself highly pleased with the result of the interview.

He very frankly said to me that he was much annoyed by the course that had been pursued by a portion of the Northern press and the criticisms of some distinguished Senators, all of which were caused by the statement of a very insignificant person, who had seized upon an accidental expression of his opinion, and taken decided action on the ever-agitated negro question, and then ran off to the North for the purpose of creating an excitement and thereby gaining a little temporary notoriety, without thinking of the embarrassment it would cause the Government. Like all men who are working for the restoration of the Union, he has ceased to think of the matter, and when Mr. Colyer returned to the department this morning he received him as kindly as if nothing had happened; in fact, the mild course which he pursued toward a man who had done all he could to injure him had the effect to cause me to change my determination to dismiss Mr. Colyer if he again came into the department. We both of us feel that we had rather be annoyed by an over-officious person than to do any act to embarrass the Government by causing discord among the members of Congress at a time when harmony should prevail and all should unite in sustaining the policy of the Government at any sacrifice of opinion, comfort, or means.

I sincerely hope that you will find it for the interest of the public service to sustain the Governor.

The military affairs of this department are in a fair condition, the health of the command is improving, and we now have near 15,000 men for duty. The infantry regiments are in fine spirits and discipline, have excellent arms and plenty of ammunition, a good supply of clothing and camp equipage, and are abundantly and well provided for by the Commissary Department. The cavalry regiment is also in fine condition, and are equally well supplied, their only want being hair saddle blankets, which are very necessary in this climate, and which have already been required for. I hope the Quartermaster’s Department will forward 1,000 of the same at once.

You will remember that this regiment was only armed with sabers and pistols, which I am convinced is a most excellent general rule to adopt in any cavalry, but in this thickly-wooded country a great portion of the skirmishing has to be done on foot, which renders carbines very necessary, and I would be very glad if you would authorize General Ripley to issue 1,000 good carbines, with the cartridge-boxes and slings, and a good supply of ammunition.

You will, I am sure, pardon a very natural prejudice when I say that I would prefer what is called the “Burnside carbine,” if the Ordnance Department have them, but I would much prefer “Sharp’s” or any good carbine rather than delay the shipment even for one week.


Our field artillery force is also in good condition, having been increased by the fitting up of new batteries of captured pieces to over thirty guns now ready for the field, only fourteen of which belong to the regularly-organized batteries of the command. A few more horses and a small supply of harness would be of service to us, and Colonel Sibley has gone North for the purpose of procuring them, but they are now, as I before stated, in a fair condition to move.

You are so perfectly conversant with the length of line and number of places that we have to hold in these waters that I will not enter into details as to the garrisons that it will be necessary to leave behind in case we receive an order to move, but will simply give you the answer which I gave in reply to a dispatch from General McClellan, and am expecting an answer from him to-morrow night:

I can place 7,000 infantry in Norfolk ready for transportation to White House in five days, but with no wagons, camp equipage, artillery, or cavalry, or I can place at a point on the Chowan River, with a view of co-operating in an attack on Petersburg, 7,000 infantry, twelve pieces of artillery, three companies of cavalry, and wagons enough for the ammunition, and five days’ subsistence, at five days’ notice. (Of course I can move on Weldon with the same force), or I can move on Goldsborough at sixty hours’ notice with 10,000 infantry, twenty pieces of artillery, and five companies of cavalry.

Either one of these moves can be made, and at the same time leave the places which we now hold tolerably secure. Several miles of railroad between here and Goldsborough have been torn up and many of the bridges and culverts destroyed, but I am convinced that we can take the place, but would not like to guarantee that it can be held with this small force. If, however, it should be deemed advisable, after hearing from General McClellan, to make either one of these moves, I shall avail myself of the very great confidence which you have placed in me by allowing me the discretion of co-operating with the Army of the Potomac without waiting for special instructions from the Department.

Of the four engines started to us two were lost at Hatteras Inlet in a gale, and two are now running on the road between here and Fort Macon. The cars, wagons, and horses are arriving rapidly, and are being put in movable condition. I heard of the loss of the two engines while at Fort Monroe, and Mr. Tucker, your Assistant Secretary, promised to send us two more at once.

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

A. E. BURNSIDE, Major-General, Commanding Department North Carolina.


WASHINGTON, June 28, 1862.


I think you had better go, with any re-enforcements you can spare, to General McClellan.



WAR DEPARTMENT, June 28, 1862.

Major-General BURNSIDE, New Berne:

We have intelligence that General McClellan has been attacked in large force and compelled to fall back toward the James River. We are not advised of his exact condition, but the President directs that you shall send him all the re-enforcements from your command to the {p.405} James River that you can safely do without abandoning your own position. Let it be infantry entirely, as he said yesterday that he had cavalry enough.

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.


FORT MONROE, June 28, 1862.


The following was sent to Burnside on the 25th. If it decides the President not to send his of this date telegraph me to Norfolk. I will be there in an hour and half:



Reports from contrabands and deserters to-day make it probable that Jackson’s forces are coming to Richmond, and that a part of Beauregard’s force have arrived at Richmond. You will please advance on Goldsborough with all your available forces at the earliest practicable moment. I wish you to understand that every minute in this crisis is of great importance. You will therefore reach Goldsborough as soon as possible, destroying all the railroad communications in the direction of Richmond in your power.

If possible, destroy some of the bridges on the Raleigh and Gaston Railroads and threaten Raleigh.




WAR DEPARTMENT, June 28, 1862-6 p.m.

Major-General BURNSIDE, New Berne:

Since the dispatches of the President and myself to you of to-day we have seen a copy of one sent to you by General McClellan on the 25th, of which we were not aware.* Our directions were not designed to interfere with any instructions given you by General McClellan, but only to authorize you to render him any aid in your power.

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.

* See Sheldon to Eckert, immediately preceding.


ON BOARD THE ALICE PRICE, Pamlico Sound, June -, 1862.


We can put 7,000 infantry in Norfolk in five days, but no artillery, cavalry, or wagons, and will require transportation from Norfolk. We can land at a point on the Chowan to attack Petersburg with 7,000, twelve pieces of artillery, 240 cavalry, and enough wagons for ammunition, and four days’ provisions in five days. We can move on Goldsborough at sixty hours’ notice with 10,000 infantry, twenty pieces of artillery, and five companies of cavalry.

From my present information I think that we can take Goldsborough and hold it for the present, although 13 miles of railroad between here and Kinston have been destroyed. At all events we can go to Kinston and repair the railroad and bridges between here and there. We have already built the bridges over the Trent and Batchelder’s Creek, {p.406} and will probably have to build one more bridge of 80 feet at Cane Creek and one of 400 feet at Kinston, although the latter is not yet destroyed and we may save it.



Abstract from return of the Department of North Carolina, Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside commanding, for June, 1862.

Station.Troops.Present for duty.Aggregate present.Aggregate present and absent.Pieces of artillery.
New BerneFirst (Foster’s) Division:
Second (Reno’s) Division:
Third (Parke’s) Division:
Roanoke IslandHawkins’ brigade (infantry).561,4071,6031,730
Newport BarracksGarrison (infantry)256707491,091




GENERAL: I embarked 7,000 infantry and was on my way to join you, at the suggestion of the Secretary of War, when I met a messenger, informing me of your important success before Richmond, which, if true, rendered it unnecessary for me to join you. I accordingly brought my fleet to an anchor, and have sent a steamer through to Norfolk to ascertain the exact state of affairs, and shall hold myself in readiness to move in any direction.

The movement up the country in the direction of Goldsborough will be pushed as rapidly as possible. The railroad bridges and culverts, as you know, are all destroyed, but we are rapidly repairing them, and tomorrow we will make an advance of some 10 or 12 miles beyond our present outposts. I had already commenced a movement with my entire force, when I received a dispatch from the President and Secretary of War requesting me to do anything in my power to assist you before Richmond.

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

A. E. BURNSIDE, Major-General.



Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

SIR: In accordance with the suggestion of your dispatch, I embarked 7,000 infantry, and was proceeding to the point designated by you, {p.407} when I met a dispatch from Colonel Hawkins, commanding at Roanoke Island, stating that there was information from Fort Monroe of some very important successes to our arms in front of Richmond, which, if true, renders our proceeding further unnecessary; in fact, renders it almost necessary that the original suggestions of General McClellan to me should be carried out. I accordingly ordered my fleet to come to anchor, and sent a messenger to Norfolk to ascertain the exact state of affairs, and shall hold myself in readiness to proceed in either direction.

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

A. E. BURNSIDE, Major-General.

I hope this action will meet with your approval.


FORT MONROE, July 3, 1862-3 p.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

I have just received the following dispatch from Colonel Hawkins. I do not quite understand why General Burnside should not have sent it in his own name, if it comes from or is authorized by him. The officer who brought it says Colonel Hawkins sent it, with the assurance that General Burnside would approve it:

HEADQUARTERS, Roanoke Island, July 2-6 p.m.

General DIX:

I wish you would telegraph immediately to President Lincoln if he has any orders other than the last sent some three days ago for General Burnside. We are almost ready to move in obedience to that order. If Richmond be taken, the President may wish to change his instructions. Please give me General McClellan’s position when last heard from. Please return the dispatch boat immediately, as the news which it brings will, I think, govern the operations in this department.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

RUSH C. HAWKINS, Colonel, Commanding Fourth Brigade and Post.

P. S.-We shall be ready to move in twenty-four hours.

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General.


WAR DEPARTMENT, July 3, 1862.

Colonel HAWKINS, Commanding at Roanoke Island:

Your telegram of July 2 to General Dix has just been received. Richmond is not taken. General McClellan has been compelled to fall back to Harrison’s Bar, on the James River. It is the opinion of the President, and he so directs, that General Burnside in person, with all the infantry force he can spare, move by way of Hampton Roads and the James River to General McClellan’s headquarters, to re-enforce him immediately.

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.


FORT MONROE, July 3, 1862.


Soon after sending you Colonel Hawkins’ dispatch I received from General McClellan an order to General Burnside to bring on all the {p.408} troops he could spare. I sent it off immediately, with a letter from myself, describing to General Burnside the position of General McClellan’s army. The steamer having gone, I cannot send your dispatch to Colonel Hawkins until morning. I will do so then, if you desire it.

JOHN A. DIX, Major-General.



Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington:

SIR: I have the honor to report that the dispatch boat which I sent through the canal to Norfolk for information and instructions has not yet returned. In the mean time we hear most startling rumors of disasters to General McClellan’s army, which are in sad contrast to the dispatch from Colonel Hawkins, on Roanoke Island, on the night of the 2d instant. We have Richmond papers giving information, or rather their version of the events, up to 10 o’clock of the night of the 1st. After making due allowance for the exaggerations, we are led to hope that General McClellan has made a successful retreat to some point on the James River nearly opposite City Point, thereby securing a new and better base of operations; in which case he can, I imagine, after resting his army and receiving proper re-enforcements, work his way up the James River to Richmond. In view of the great uncertainty of the actual state of affairs in the Army of the Potomac, I beg to make the following statement:

First. We can move with 7,000 infantry (which were started the other day for the James River) at once, at the same time holding with tolerable security all the points now in our possession, together with the railroads from this place to Beaufort.

Second. Or we can send 8,000 infantry and hold all these points, but cannot protect either the railroad or Beaufort. The latter, however, can be protected by the Navy, while we hold Fort Macon. This movement will require two days’ notice.

Third. Or we can move from here with from three to five days’ notice with the entire command, except the garrisons for Hatteras Inlet, Fort Macon, and Roanoke Island, placing our sick at the latter place, leaving this place to be protected by the Navy, as Elizabeth City and other places on the Albemarle Sound are held. This will involve the dismantling of the two very strong forts on the outskirts of the city, which have been erected with great care and labor with a view to holding the place as a base of operations. This movement can be made without exciting the suspicions of the enemy in this neighborhood, and we can thus add to the Army of the Potomac a force of 11,500 infantry, one regiment of cavalry, twenty pieces of light artillery, and, if necessary, 100 wagons and a supply of ambulances; all in good condition.

All these propositions presuppose that the rebel army are still occupied in Richmond by the establishment of the Army of the Potomac at some point on James River near City Point.

If such is the case, General McClellan would, I imagine, cut off their communication with North Carolina by taking Petersburg, thus rendering it unnecessary for the present to cut the two lines in the interior of this State.

If, as the rebel papers assert, the Army of the Potomac is demoralized and broken to pieces, which we do not credit, the rebel army in front of {p.409} Richmond will be relieved, and this place will be liable to an attack by a very large force; but I think, with the aid of the forts and gunboats, we can hold it, and we will remain subject to your orders.

I omitted to state that the execution of this last proposition might create some suffering among a few Union people in this city, but the other towns in these waters would not be affected so long as the naval forces here remain undiminished. The proposition contemplates leaving garrisons at Hatteras Inlet, Fort Macon, and Roanoke Island large enough to furnish as much protection to these other towns as they now receive, and as the Union sentiment in this place is remarkably limited, it should not be taken into consideration in devising plans for the public good.

We hope and pray that the condition of the Army of the Potomac is not as has been represented by the rebel accounts, but in any event we hold ourselves in readiness to stand by the Government, and perform any duties that may devolve upon us to the best of our abilities.

The adoption of the third proposition will involve the necessity of sending to Beaufort from the North transportation for six regiments of infantry, one regiment of cavalry, four batteries of light artillery, and also for 200 wagons and ambulances, with teams, if they are required; if not, they can be left in the depot at Morehead City, near Beaufort, with the engines and cars.

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

A. E. BURNSIDE, Major-General, Commanding Department of North Carolina.


WAR DEPARTMENT, July 5, 1862.

Major-General BURNSIDE, via Fortress Monroe:

The Department has no further orders to give, but hope you will with all speed reach General McClellan with as large a force as possible.

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.


FORT MONROE, July 7, 1862-4.40 p.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

Arrived here safely with the advance of my command. I bring near 8,000 good men. Please give me any instructions you may have. I shall leave as soon as the bulk of the command arrives. It takes some time for all the vessels to pass the swash. If necessary I will go right up.

A. E. BURNSIDE, Major-General.


WAR DEPARTMENT, July 7, 1862.

Major-General BURNSIDE, Fort Monroe:

The President is on the way to meet you at Fort Monroe. Please remain, and do not send your troops forward until you see him.

EDWIN M. STANTON, Secretary of War.




Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to report that General A. E. Burnside left this department on the morning of the 6th day of July with the Second and Third Divisions of this corps d’armée to join the Army of the Potomac under General McClellan, leaving me in command of this department.

My force, comprising the First Division, consists of seven regiments and one battalion of infantry, one regiment of cavalry, one of artillery, and the Marine Artillery.

One regiment of infantry guards the railroad from here to Beaufort, one battalion at Beaufort, and one-half of the Marine Artillery as garrison on Roanoke Island. The balance of the forces are stationed at this point, under my immediate command.

I am at present engaged in strengthening and fortifying the place at every possible point of attack, and consider myself abundantly able to hold the position against almost any force that may be brought against it.

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

J. G. FOSTER, Commanding Department.



Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: I have the honor to report that everything has remained quiet in this department since the date of my last letter, July 12 [8th?]. I am progressing quite well in strengthening the field works around the city, and am also erecting block-houses at all the exposed points, such as bridges, stations, &c., on the line of the railroad, so as to enable a comparatively small force to hold the road with tolerable security. A fortified car, arranged to carry two guns, with loop-holes for musketry, and manned with a crew from the Marine Artillery, is run with every train between this city and Beaufort.

The city is quite healthy at this time, and I find by a personal examination of the hospitals that most of the patients are convalescing.

I go to Beaufort to-day to inspect the hospital there and to arrange for placing it under the efficient care of some Sisters of Charity who are expected from New York.

Commodore Rowan left here at night on the 12th, in obedience to his orders. I had the honor to write in relation to him in my letter of that date.

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

J. G. FOSTER, Brigadier-General, U. S. Army, Commanding Department.



Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: I have the honor to report that all has been quiet in this department since the date of my last report, July 15.


The work on the defenses of this town is progressing very favorably, and before long I expect the town to be sufficiently fortified to be held by a small force.

The construction of the works for the defense of Washington is rapidly approaching completion.

The work on block-houses on the line of the Atlantic and North Carolina Railroad is going on with proper dispatch.

There are now three light batteries, of four guns each, organized and mounted, taken from the Third Regiment New York Volunteer Artillery. They are being drilled assiduously, and will soon reach that state of proficiency that will enable them to be most useful in attack or in defense.

There is from the same regiment another battery of six guns organized, which will be mounted from the horses arrived by the Cahawba (100 in number). I look forward to having a comparatively large and efficient corps of light artillery.

The health of the department, I am very happy to say, is improving, the new cases being mostly of milder form than before, but I have deemed best to establish a general hospital at Portsmouth, so as to remove as much as practicable the sick from the hospital in this town to the sea-breezes and purer air of Portsmouth. I have used the Marine Hospital built by the United States Government for the purpose.

I have to report that, at the request of Major-General Burnside, nine Sisters of Mercy have arrived from New York, to take charge of the hospital at Beaufort, and under their kind and educated care I hope for a rapid improvement in the health of the patients. The Rev. Mr. Bruehl, their priest, accompanied them, and, in consideration of the worthiness of this gentleman and of the large number of Catholics in the New York regiment attached to my command, I most earnestly recommend that he be appointed chaplain of the United States hospital at Beaufort, N. C.

Chaplain James Means has arrived at this place, and having presented his appointment as chaplain for the United States hospital at New Berne, has been assigned to duty accordingly.

I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,

J. G. FOSTER, Brigadier-General, U. S. Army, Commanding Department.



Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: I have the honor to report that all is well in this department. The work on the fortifications at this point and at Washington is progressing well. At the latter place the fort is ready to receive its guns. This work, with the block-houses being erected and with the gunboat in the river, will make the place secure against any small force. The block-houses on the line of the Atlantic and North Carolina Railroad, between here and Beaufort, are going on well. The health of the troops continue about as last reported.

The condition of the hospital at Beaufort is improving, and the comforts of the men are being admirably looked after by the Sisters of Mercy, recently arrived from New York.


The hospital at Portsmouth is being prepared for the reception of patients, and I expect to send there on Thursday next the requisite number to fill it. The diseases incident to this climate are of such a debilitating nature that all cases require the tonic of salt air to recuperate. I had the honor to send you, under date the 28th instant, a brief report of several reconnaissances ordered by me.

The first, under command of Colonel Lee, of the Twenty-seventh Massachusetts Volunteers, and in command, temporarily, of the First Brigade of my division, consisted of nine companies of the Twenty-fifth Massachusetts, under Lieutenant-Colonel Sprague; seven companies of the Twenty-seventh Massachusetts, under Lieutenant-Colonel Lyman; four companies of Third New York Cavalry, under Major Lewis, and Belger’s Rhode Island Battery, under Lieutenant Pope. They left Deep Gully, the limit of our pickets, at daylight of Saturday, and marched up the Trent Road, driving in the enemy’s pickets as they advanced. Arriving at the fork of the roads (one fork leading to Kinston and one to Trenton) we came upon the picket station and surprised them, but were unable to catch them, as they took to their horses, leaving everything behind, and started for Kinston.

At this point a force of four companies infantry, a section of artillery, and a platoon of cavalry were left, the remaining force pushing on for Trenton.

On reaching the bridge over the Trent at this place it was found on fire and a small force of the enemy on the other side. A dash of our cavalry and a volley forced them to leave; the fire was extinguished, the bridge replanked, and the force entered the town without opposition.

After a halt the column was started for Pollocksville, marched till night, camped for the night at a deserted plantation, and started for Pollocksville the next a.m. This place was reached at 10 a.m. and there met the second reconnaissance, under Lieutenant-Colonel Fellows, and consisting of six companies Seventeenth Massachusetts and one company Third Cavalry. This detachment started from their camp the other side of the Trent River Saturday morning at daylight, with orders to march to Pollocksville, building all the necessary bridges on the line of their march, take and hold Pollocksville until communicated with by Colonel Lee. This they did without opposition, though as the command neared Mill Creek, which it was necessary to cross to reach Pollocksville, the cavalry vedettes, 4 in number, were fired upon from the bushes, 2 killed and 2 wounded and taken prisoners. Infantry skirmishers were immediately thrown forward to the right and left of the road by Colonel Fellows, who was at the head of the column some .500 paces in rear. The skirmishers deployed through the swamp and wood on either side of the road, but were unsuccessful in their efforts to find the firing party. The perfect knowledge of all the by-paths, serpentine roads, &c., possessed by these small parties of the enemy, renders pursuit almost hopeless. Colonel Fellows, crossing the creek, occupied the town till met, as before said, by Colonel Lee, when both commands uniting, under command of Colonel Lee, started for New Berne, and arrived at 10 o’clock Sunday night. The circuit made by Colonel Lee was about 50 miles in circumference.

The third detachment, under Colonel Heckman, of the Ninth New Jersey Volunteers, consisted of five companies of that regiment, two companies Third New York Cavalry, and Battery B of the New York Rocket Battalion, consisting of three pieces. This command started from Newport, the headquarters of this regiment, on picket duty on the {p.413} railroad, on Saturday morning, and marched for Young’s Cross-Roads, a point 25 miles distant (about), and on the direct road from Pollocksville to Wilmington, and distant 8 miles from the former place. On arriving at a creek just between them and the Cross-Roads the bridge was found taken up and the enemy showed themselves by firing a volley from the other side, which wounded 3 of our men, 1 mortally. The fire was replied to and one piece of artillery brought up and opened fire on them with canister, and when they retreated they were followed up by shell. The people in the neighborhood represent that they carried off two wagon loads of killed and wounded. The bridge was then rebuilt and the command bivouacked there for the night, and the next morning started for New Berne, via Pollocksville, reaching here without opposition.

The fourth detachment consisted of two companies Twenty-seventh Massachusetts, 10 cavalry, and 20 Third New York Artillery, with muskets, under command of Captain Sanford, of Twenty-seventh. Started Sunday a.m. up the railroad to break up the picket headquarters on the Neuse road. They moved up with great expedition for about 5 miles from Batchelder’s Creek, our picket limits on that road, and then branched off toward the Neuse road, off of which was the headquarters. They drove in the vedettes and moved on with such speed as prevented the alarm being given. They reached the house and partially surrounded it, announcing their presence by a volley, wounding 3 and killing 1, and succeeded in capturing 10 soldiers of the Second North Carolina Cavalry and about 20 horses. The party then returned, having destroyed the house, to New Berne in safety.

By the foregoing we have learned much of the topography of the surrounding country and ascertained somewhat the force and position of the enemy. They have a very small force this side of Kinston. Only some two companies of cavalry and perhaps three companies of militia-guerrilla bands or roving rangers, as they are called. At Kinston there is about one small brigade, supported by a larger force with artillery at Blackwater, some 8 miles beyond Kinston, on the road to Goldsborough. The Wilmington road is picketed by about 500 men.

Capt. E. E. Potter, of my staff, acting colonel of the First North Carolina Union Volunteers, started from Washington, his headquarters, with a company of Third New York Cavalry, and rode across to Plymouth, a distance of 36 miles, meeting with no opposition, and hearing of no rebel force this side of Jamesville, at which place he estimates the force at some 400 or 500 men, more for defense than offense. At Halifax there are several regiments, probably two or three.

Col. William A. Howard, of the Marine Artillery, in command of the post of Roanoke Island, has succeeded in destroying the salt-works on Currituck and so breaking up that source of supply. I shall hope soon to advise the breaking up two others on the peninsula, about 20 miles above Roanoke Island. Colonel Howard is now endeavoring to break up some of the trade with Richmond, carried on by way of the Perquimans and Chowan Rivers. This trade is represented as being carried on to a considerable extent, and, if so, a blow struck in that way might be severely felt.

I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,

J. G. FOSTER, Brigadier-General, U. S. Army, Commanding Department.



Abstract from return of the Department of North Carolina, Maj. Gen. John G. Foster commanding, for month of July, 1862.

Stations.Present for duty.Aggregate present.Aggregate present and absent.
Beaufort122853893835th Rhode Island.
Fort Macon14152561st U. S. Artillery Battery C.
Hatteras InletThree companies 103d New York. No report.
New Berne1904,9856,4947,80410th Connecticut; 17th 23d, 24th, 25th, and 27th Massachusetts; 3d New York Artillery; New York Rocket Battery A; 3d New York Cavalry; and Battery F, 1st Rhode Island Artillery.
Newport Barracks.367999551,1029th New Jersey, and New York Rocket Battery B.
Plymouth647689Company F, 9th New York.



Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: I have the honor to report that everything in this department is progressing favorably. The fortifications are approaching completion and the block-houses on the Atlantic and North Carolina Railroad are nearly finished.

The health of the troops is as good as reported in my last. The hospital at Portsmouth is ready to receive patients, and some invalids are at present being removed there, and in a short time I expect to have the greater portion of my sick at the general hospitals at Beaufort and Portsmouth on the seaboard.

Since my last report I have made three more reconnaissances in force, the first by the Marine Artillery, on the transport steamer Massasoit, armed for the occasion with guns. The boat proceeded up the Neuse as far as Swift Creek, when, seeing a party of the enemy, they fired a few shells and landed, capturing 2 prisoners, with their horses and equipments complete. They then proceeded about 14 miles up the Neuse River, when, in consequence of orders to be at New Berne the same night, they returned.

The second consisted of the same boat, accompanied by the Pilot Boy and the Navy gunboat Ellis, under command of Lieutenant Potter, and proceeded up the same river to within 7 miles of Kinston, meeting with few, if any, obstructions on the way, but at this point the obstructions were more serious, consisting of sunken piles, which were indicated by ripples on the surface of the water; also a four-gun battery on the left bank of the river. The officers of the expedition landed on the opposite side of the river and reconnoitered the place thoroughly. The boats also threw a few shells into the battery, with what result is not known. The battery, however, did not return the fire of the boats. The object of the reconnaissance being accomplished, the expedition returned to New Berne.

The third expedition was started in conjunction with the second. This proceeded by land up the Trent road, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Mix, of the Third New York Cavalry, and consisted of nine {p.415} companies of cavalry, six companies of infantry in wagons, under Lieutenant-Colonel Pardee, of the Tenth Connecticut Volunteers, and two sections of artillery, under Lieutenant Pope, of the Rhode Island Artillery. On reaching the forks of the Trenton and Kinston road, after driving in the enemy’s pickets, they turned toward Trenton, where, after a skirmish with a company of the enemy’s cavalry, routing them and capturing several of their number, they burned the bridge over the Trent. The force then countermarched to the forks of the road and advanced about 5 miles in the direction of Kinston, capturing on the way about 15 of the enemy’s pickets, when, upon signals received from the boats that the river expedition was on the return to New Berne, this force also returned.

The expeditions having returned only a few hours ago, this report is necessarily without particulars and brief; in my next I shall be able to give a more complete account of the same.

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

J. G. FOSTER, Major-General, Commanding.



Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: I have the honor to inform you that since my report of the 7th instant the health of the command has continued to improve, notwithstanding the great heat of the weather.

A brief mention was made of the three last reconnaissances in my last communication. The subsequent and full reports have demonstrated that the reconnaissances, both by land and water, were complete, obtaining full and correct information of the position of the enemy without the loss of a single man. These reconnaissances have had the effect of causing the enemy to withdraw their pickets to within 5 miles of Kinston, thereby putting an end to the harassing practice of picket firing.

Owing to the heat of the weather it will be impossible for the next month or six weeks to make any more expeditions except by means of night marches and by water. These expeditions I shall keep up continually in order to draw as much as possible from the forces at Richmond, as it is of importance for them to preserve their security in this State.

I am now organizing two expeditions, one, to be composed of a party of horsemen, aided by the gunboats, to go into Hyde County, to arrest some violent secessionists, who have been persecuting the Union citizens; the other, to be composed of light-draught gunboats and transports, to go through Bogue Sound and to White Oak River, to scour those waters and to break up all the salt-works which are at present known to be in active operation there.*

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

J. G. FOSTER, Major-General, Commanding.

* Some matters of detail omitted.




General H. W. HALLECK, Commander-in-Chief U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that generally everything is quiet in this department. The reconnaissance now out in the direction of Wilmington with orders to destroy the salt-works on the coast, has been much delayed in its operations by the northerly winds that have prevailed since Friday last. I have no fears for its safety or the success of its operations.

Recruits are arriving rapidly for the regiments now here (seven and one-half of infantry, one of artillery, one of marine artillery, and one of cavalry). I have organized and horsed four field batteries from the artillery regiment (the Third New York Artillery), and these, with those previously here, make seven field batteries (two of six pieces each, three of four pieces each, and two of three pieces each). I am drilling these batteries constantly to make them efficient, with the view of making an artillery fight in case it becomes necessary to advance up the country with a small force of infantry. I am aware of the infantry force between here and Goldsborough (eight regiments of infantry) and of the light artillery force (three field batteries), and am confident that I can advance at any time that the General-in-Chief commands and whip these two arms of the rebel force. I will also venture to advance and destroy the railroad as near Raleigh as I can go with my force.

In any case of an advance I shall not expect to occupy the places that I capture up the country, but rather to have for an object to destroy the railroad bridges, &c., so as to cut off the communication of the army at Richmond with the South.

At most the force that I could take with me and leave everything safe at New Berne would be 5,000 men. If it be desired by the General Commanding that an attack be made on the works at the mouth of the Cape Fear River, and those works taken, I shall require that my force be increased by seven regiments of infantry.

I beg leave respectfully to ask that this be done at any rate, because I am confident that I can employ my division to so good purpose as to keep employed much more than an equal number of the enemy.

Captain Williamson, of the Topographical Engineers, and Lieutenant Flagler, of the Ordnance Corps, having been relieved from duty here to report at General Burnside’s headquarters, I am left without any regular officers in those departments. I would respectfully ask that officers from both those corps or from the Engineers be sent to replace them.

Although the sickly season will continue for a month, and thus disable many otherwise effective men, I shall stand ready at any moment to make any movement or diversion that the Commander-in-Chief may order or consider necessary to divert attention from the more important operations against the army in front of Richmond.

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

J. G. FOSTER, Major-General, Volunteers.




Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK, Comdg. Armies of the United States, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that all is well within this department.

The health of the men is remarkably good, considering the unhealthfulness of this climate at this season. The convalescents are rapidly brought up by a short stay at the general hospital at Beaufort.

I started a reconnaissance on the 16th instant toward Wilmington for the purpose of destroying some salt-works known to be in operation at or near Bogue Inlet, and to ascertain the force of the enemy in that section, the character of the country, depth of water in the sounds, inlets, and rivers, &c. I have now the honor to report their return and the successful accomplishment of their object and without resistance. One man was slightly wounded by a guerrilla’s shot and we took one prisoner.

The reconnaissance was under command of Colonel Stevenson, commanding the Second Brigade of my division, and consisted of seven companies of the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteers, Riggs’ battery Third New York Artillery, and a large detachment of the Marine Artillery, Colonel Howard. The force was embarked on seven light-draught steamers, five of which proceeded to Bogue Inlet from Beaufort outside, and two through Bogue Sound to the same point. The vessels rendezvoused at the mouth of White Oak River, Swansborough, landed, and took possession of the town. The next day the two lightest-draught steamers started up Stumpy Sound, and, having proceeded 2 miles, landed a detachment of troops, who, marching down the banks of the sound, found and destroyed the salt-works of a Mr. Hawkins, with a store-house partially filled. These works were quite extensive and well filled up, and had a capacity of about 7,000 bushels per annum. The force then proceeded to the works of Colonel Saunders (capacity about 2,500 bushels per annum), which they destroyed, and hearing of no other works of any consequence, the detachment returned to their vessels.

During their absence Lieutenant Porter, commanding the naval gunboat Ellis, kindly furnished me by Lieutenant Colhoun, the senior officer at this station, found and destroyed two small works on Queen Creek.

Having destroyed all the known works in this part of the country and obtained much information the forces started for their return, first destroying a well-constructed unarmed fort built to protect the entrance to Bogue Inlet, the guns of which had been taken (six in number) to New Berne to aid in the defense of that point and were there captured by us, and had not since been replaced.

Before closing this report I must make my acknowledgments of the promptness, willingness, and efficiency of Lieutenant Colhoun, of the Navy. His cordial and ever-ready co-operation with me in any move I may make, joined with his high character as an officer and a gentleman, convinces me that he is one of the most worthy and deserving of those ex-officers of the Navy who at the call of their country re-entered the service, hoping and wishing to be reinstated in the Regular Navy of the United States. Than Lieutenant Colhoun none are more worthy.

I am, General, with much respect, your obedient servant,

J. G. FOSTER, Major-General, Commanding.


Main TitleThe War of the Rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies.
Corporate NameUnited States. War Department.
Published/Created[S.l.], L.McKee and C.G. Robertson, 1859.
ContentsSer. I. v. 1-53 [serial no. 1-111] Formal reports, both Union and Confederate, of the first seizures of United States property in the southern states, and of all military operations in the field, with the correspondence, order and returns relating specially thereto. 1880-1898. 111 v.--ser. II. v. 1-8 [serial no. 114-121] Correspondence, orders, reports and returns, Union and Confederate, relating to prisoners of war and to state or political prisoners. 1894 [i.e. 1898]-1899. 8 v.--ser. III. v. 1-5 [serial no. 122-126] Correspondence, orders, reports and returns of the Union authorities (embracing their correspondence with the Confederate officials) note relating specially to the subjects of the first and second series. It embraces the reports of the Secretary of War, of the general-in-chief and of the chiefs of the several staff corps and departments ... 1899-1900. 5 v.--ser. IV. v. 1-3 [serial no. 127-129] Correspondence, orders, reports and returns of the Confederate authorities, similar to that indicated for the Union officials, as of the third series, but including the correspondence between the Union and Confederate authorities given in that series. 1900. 3 v.--[serial no. 130] General index and additions and corrections. Mr. John S. Moodey, indexer. Preface [by Elihu Root, Secretary of War]. Explanations. Synopsis of the contents of volumes. Special index for the principal armies, army corps, military divisions and departments. General index. Additions and corrections [arranged consecutively by volumes]. 1901.