HEADQUARTERS, Fort Macon, March 23, 1862.
General J. G. PARKE,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Morehead City, N. C.:
SIR: Your request is received, and I have the honor to decline evacuating Fort Macon.
Very respectfully, yours, &c.,
M. J. WHITE,
HDQRS. THIRD BRIGADE, DEPT. OF NORTH CAROLINA,
Carolina City, March 24, 1862-11 p.m..
MY DEAR GENERAL: Pell has just arrived. I will detain him until morning, as I have now a more on foot which is of so great importance that I wish you to be apprised of the result.
Since my communication of yesterday' date I have been steadily occupied in cutting off all communication with the fort. I have two companies posted in Morehead City, under Major Allen, with orders to cut off all communication with the fort and Beaufort.
To-day I sent to Beaufort for the town authorities. Captain Gardner met them, and informed them that I required them to stop all communication with the fort. They all have a great horror of Colonel White, and fear that if they communicate with us he will shell their town. However they have determined to hold a town meeting, and I will get their reply to-morrow.
At first I had not the means nor provisions to occupy it. My wagon train has now made two trips to Slocum's Creek Landing, and I have now supplies until Saturday morning; and if the reply is not satisfactory I will send one company over there. The destruction of the Newport River Bridge is a bad business. I hope Field will soon have it in order, and Flagler and Morris will soon have their guns here.
I presume Flagler will inform you of the burning of the hotel at this place, also of the barracks just below here.
Last night Colonel White burnt the prize bark lying under the fort.
There are two ships at Morehead, one at the wharf and the other in the stream, purporting to be English, and loaded now with turpentine, cotton, &c. They came in last August, and have not been able to escape. I presume the fact of their flying English colors had secured them against Colonel White's torch.
My work for to-night is to send two companies over to the Banks under a good pilot. I send a boat to be carried across the sand hills to the sea, with a letter to the commanding officer of the fleet informing him of my move and requesting his co-operation.
My transportation is only sufficient to carry over two companies, but it is so very important to occupy the Banks.
We have made two captures, one a schooner load of corn going from the fort to Swansborough, the other a bearer of dispatches from the captain of a picket company on Queen's Creek, beyond Swansborough, to Colonel White. I have the captain of the schooner and the dispatch bearer now confined, and will send them to you by the first opportunity.
O for some of [the] Navy people. Can't you send one or two boat howitzers and ammunition down by rail so that I can send them over to the Banks? One could be mounted on our schooner with all ease.
I am informed that the Union could come through Core Sound with some ship's launches in tow. These could cut off Beaufort and the fort.