War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0386 OPERATIONS IN NORTH CAROLINA. Chapter XX.

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The man who brings the report is a Union man, named Gainer, and he gets his information from a paroled prisoner by the name of Jones, who lives about 6 miles to the westward of Newport Bridge.

Jones says: "We will see hot work about Newport Bridge before Saturday night; that 10,000 troops are crossing from Swansborough."

Now I can't believe any such story, but I should like to feel sure that it is all false. I have requested the colonel of the Ninth New Jersey to send out a scout and inform you directly of the result.

I will see Commander Lockwood and request him to keep his steamer near Morehead City, and I told the Ninth New Jersey that if they were too hotly pressed to fall back on Morehead.

It may be that the rebels at Wilmington have armed the militia and drafted men with the arms brought in by the Nashville, and are marching there in hopes of again destroying the Newport Bridge.

I will send the Little Union up the Sound to-morrow. A gunboat in White Oak Creek would fix this whole business and make me feel perfectly easy, and a squadron of cavalry would now be of infinite service.

A paroled officer applied to me to-day for permission to go with his wife to Swansborough. In course of conversation he said that he expected to be exchanged in a week. It may be that this fellow has heard of a probable advance from Swansborough.

Faithfully, yours,


FORT MONROE, VA., May 11, 1862.

Major-General BURNSIDE:

DEAR SIR: You will be pleased to learn that yesterday General Wool advanced with 5,000 men on Norfolk. The city surrendered, General Huger having withdrawn his force. We are now in possession of Norfolk and Portsmouth. This morning the rebels set fire to the Merrimac and blew her up. General Wool will throw an additional force of 2,000 men into Norfolk without delay.

I send you a copy of the last dispatch received--at 5 o'clock last evening--from General McClellan. We have been aware for some days that the enemy were contemplating the abandonment of Norfolk. General Huger continued there until yesterday with 5,000 men. Three days ago Commander Rodgers, with the Galena and two other gunboats, were sent up the James River toward Richmond to co-operate with McClellan. When last heard from yesterday they were "picking their way slowly up." The Monitor and Stevens will be sent up to-day.

General Wool proposes without delay to move on to Suffolk, and would be glad to co-operate with you by your advancing, if you deem it prudent, to Weldon and seizing the railroad there.

We have no certain intelligence in respect to the movements of the rebels southward. A large force is no doubt in front of General McClellan. Whether they will give hm battle at or in front of Richmond you can as well judge as any one else. The co-operation of yourself and General Wool must undoubtedly produce favorable results, and communication between you and him should be established at the earliest possible moment.

My last advices from Corinth were three days ago, at which time a severe battle between the forces of Beauregard and Halleck was impending. It has no doubt taken place by this time. Such, at least, is my impression.