Hearing that the enemy had burned the railroad bridge over Newport River I hurried off, in order to save the county road bridge. This we succeeded in doing. We also secured some log quarters made for the Seventeenth Regiment North Carolina troops.
This morning I dispatched Captain Gardner and Lieutenant Flagler with a long of truce of Fort Macon with a demand to surrender; a copy of my letter, together with the reply of the commanding officer, I herewith inclose.
We have now but one course to pursue, and that is to invest the place; but with the Newport Bridge destroyed this will be a slow operation. I have ordered Major Wright down to that point to rebuild the bridge. This will have to be done before we can bring down the guns. Our supplies can be brought by rail to this point and thence in wagons over a fair road.
The country road from Slocum's to Newport is in one place very bad; will soon be impassable for heavily-loaded wagons.
I have with me about 700 men; the remainder of the Fourth and Eight are, I presume, now on the way down.
I have sent two companies to Morehead City to prevent and communication with the fort.
At present I have not strength enough to send a force to Beaufort. I believe they communicate with the fort every night.
As far as I can learn the garrison of the fort has but little sympathy, or rather the commanding officer has but little, in either Beaufort or Morehead.
If possible I would like some of the Navy to come around through Core Sound to interrupt communication between Beaufort and Fort Macon.
I have just learned that the officers of the fort communicate with the outer world by running down the beach. My force at present is not sufficient nor have I the means to cut off this communication.
I have just taken a flat-boat, with a mail and a lot of corn, on the way from the fort to Swansborough. I will detain the captain.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO G. PARKE,
General AMBROSE E. BURNSIDE.
HDQRS. THIRD BRIGADE, DEPT. OF NORTH CAROLINA,
March 23, 1862.
To the Commander of the Garrison of Fort Macon:
SIR: In order to save the unnecessary effusion of blood I have the honor to demand the evacuation of the fort and surrender of the forces under your command.
Having an intimate knowledge of the entire work and an overwhelming force at our command with the means for reducing the work, its fall is inevitable.
On condition that no damage is done to the fortification or armament your command will be released as prisoners of war on their parole.
Very respectfully, yours, &c.,
JNO G. PARKE,