U. S. STEAMER STATE OF GEORGIA,
May 1, 1862.
General AMBROSE E. BURNSIDE,
Commanding Department of North Carolina, New Berne:
GENERAL: I am now having four companies Eighth Connecticut placed on board the Highland Light, and expect to have him start for New Berne this p. m. The other companies have not yet reached Morehead City.
The Union has not yet arrived. As soon as she does I will start the balance of the regiment.
The Fourth Rhode Island is now quartered in Beaufort.
I have made Colonel Rodman military governor of the Beaufort district, and Major Allen provost-marshal.
Captain Morris' and Captain Ammon's companies are now in the fort.
The guns and mortars from our batteries have been brought to the fort.
Our camp on the Banks is by degrees being broken up. I am having everything there brought down to the fort and everything at Carolina City brought down to Morehead.
I keep the two launches on picket duty up Bogue Sound toward Swansborough.
I am informed that the rebel cavalry are still in that vicinity, and I would particularly request that a gunboat be sent through Bogue Inlet into White Oak River, and directed to keep a lookout for the rebels in that quarter.
The Chippewa has returned, having delivered her prisoners to a rebel steamer near Fort Caswell. While there Captain Bryson learned that the Nashville had run into New Inlet on the 26th. On the 24th she started in and ran aground, and for some unaccountable reason she was permitted to remain there until sufficiently lightened to pass inside the bar. She is reported to have 16,000 stand of arms and a tremendous quantity of gunpowder. Awful, is it not?
Well, can't we take Fort Caswell and the adjacent batteries? I believe we can.
Captain Bryson, of the Chippewa, has furnished me with a copy of the statement of two deserters from Fort Caswell. I inclose copy.
1 p. m.-The Union has just arrived, with the cattle and potatoes. The Highland Light has not got under way as yet. There is much trouble in bringing the troops and baggage over from the Banks to Morehead City. I will start her off as soon as she gets four companies on board.
To-morrow the Chippewa goes to Cape Fear River. The State of Georgia follows in a day or two and the bark Gemsbok goes to Hampton Roads. This will leave only one vessel here, the Daylight, Captain Lockwood. Now, I sincerely hope Commodore Rowan will send one of his vessels to the White Oak and Swansborough district. It will be of immense service all around.
The citizens of Beaufort are after me on the negro question. They want me to prevent the slaves from coming within our lines. I tell them I can use no force to aid them in recovering their negroes; at the same time, if they can prevail on the negroes to go home, I am perfectly willing and satisfied. I can furnish them no aid or assistance, and at the same time will not permit any disturbance in camp.
JNO G. PARKE.