War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0376 OPERATIONS IN NORTH CAROLINA. Chapter XX.

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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 not 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 fo 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, Commanding Department of North Carolina.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,

New Berne, April 7, 1862.

Honorable 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 flee there to the effect that the rebel authorities at Norfolk are fitting our 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 boat is a duty devolving upon the