saved some 40 or 50 miles travel for myself and 20 of the men with Lieutenant Sanders.
As to the howitzer I have heard of it in two or three places by report. The most probable one is that it is up in Currituck County, somewhere in a swamp. Until I had started after them I did not know they did not have it with them to take it to Richmond. If Lieutenant Sanders follows my advise and "takes time by the forelock" he can find that gun and the tents. He claims to have 50 or 60 fighting men, and with two-thirds of that number he can scour the whole country.
I am, very respectfully,
WM. B. AVERY,
Captain, Commanding Lancer.
Colonel WILLIAM A. HOWARD,
Commanding Marine Artillery and Post, Roanoke Island.
OCTOBER 3, 1862.- Skirmish on the Blackwater, near Franklin, Va.
Numbers 1.- Major General John A. Dix, U. S. Army, commanding the Department of Virginia.
Numbers 2.- Major General John J. Peck, U. S. Army, commanding at Suffolk, including affair near Zuni.
Numbers 3.- Colonel J. K. Marshall, Fifty-second North carolina Infantry.
Numbers 1. Reports of Major General John A. Dix, U. S. Army, commanding the Department of Virginia.
FORT MONROE, VA., October 3, 1862 - 9.30 p. m.
Last night General Peck, by my order and direction, sent a force of nearly 2,000 cavalry, artillery, and infantry from Suffolk to Franklin, on the Blackwater, intending to attack the enemy at that point this morning early, and if possible cripple the floating bridge he has thrown across the river. Between 2 and 3 this morning two scoundrels from New York, belonging to Dodge's Mounted Rifled, one of them and orderly at General Peck's headquarters, deserted to the enemy and were seen riding through our lines. Couriers were sent out to recall the troops and a strong force was dispatched to support them. I have not yet heard of their return. We have reconnoitered the enemy closely several times with no loss, except one horse killed and one man shot through the hand. Suffolk has been put in good condition, and we have no concern of attack. Two of the four new regiments you promised have arrived. They are very raw, but when I regret the other two I shall feel entirely at ease at all points.
JOHN A. DIX,
Major-General HALLECK, General-in-Chief.
* For reports of Actg. Rear-Admiral S. P. Lee, Commander H. K. Davenport, Lieutenant Commander C. W. Flusser, Acting Vol. Lieutenant E. R. Colhoun, and Actg. Master C. A. French, U. S. Navy, see Annual Report of the Secretary of the Navy, December 1, 1862.