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, bug 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 fin 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.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
New Berne, April 17, 1862.
Major General 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