The enemy continued in force at Kinston, but I feel quite sure I can dislodge them after the fall of Fort Macon.
I have made the above statement in reference to my forces in order that the Department may know what I have to work with, and if in what I may have to do more re-enforcements are necessary they may be sent at once.
I have the honor to be, your most obedient servant,
A. E. BURNSIDE,
Major-General, Commanding Department of North Carolina.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
New Berne, N. C., April 20, 1862.
I have the honor to state that since my last report I have visited General Parke's force investing Fort Macon and found the work progressing very rapidly, considering the obstructions that have to be overcome. After transporting all the batteries, ammunition, supplies, &c., 36 miles by had cars, they have to be transported by water some three miles and a half through a tortuous channel, with only 2 feet water at high tide. Flats loaded with supplies are sometimes a day and a half making this short trip. These supplies then have to be loaded on wagons and transported near 4 miles through deep sand to where the trenches are established. The farthest of our batteries, which consists of four 10-inch mortars, is but 1,200 yards from the fort. The battery of 30-pounder Parrott guns and the 8-inch mortar battery are still farther in advance, so that these supplies have all to be transported at night, as the train for a half mile or more would be, if visible, under the direct fire of the fort. The working parties and teams are kept busy every night, and the general has been able to keep some small parties at work during the day under cover of the guard of the trenches, but has had been very successful, losing in his whole force-killed, wounded, and missing-but 9 men, and 1 captain wounded (Sheffield, of Fourth Rhode Island*). Some ninety cannon-shot from the fort and considerable musketry fire, which occurred on one morning, wounded but 2 of our men, while we killed and wounded with our rifles 8 of theirs and drove their pickets inside the fort.
On my visit yesterday to the trenches with my staff the ambulance in which we traveled to within a mile to the fort attracted the attention of their lookout on the flag-staff, which caused a battery to open upon us as we passed to and from the batteries, of which I was afterward very glad, as it demonstrated to me that their firing is very wild.
Our batteries, guns, &c., are now about completed and the pieces in position. The work has been most skillfully conducted under the direction of Captain Williamson, topographical engineer, and Lieutenant Flagler, of the Ordnance Corps.
I came up for the purpose of carrying down through Core Sound two of our floating batteries, with four 30-pounder rifled Parrott guns mounted thereon, which I propose to anchor, together with the gunboat Ellis, with an 80-pounder rifled gun, just in front of the fort, opposite the town of Beaufort. The Navy co-operates from the out-
*Properly, Eighth Connecticut.