that was not the point I had decided to strike. Lest the courier should be captured I could not specify the place on the Blackwater.
A copy of my communication of this date is inclosed, which will more fully inform you.
JOHN J. PECK,
SUFFOLK, December 12, 1862.
Major General J. G. FOSTER,
Commanding Department of North Carolina:
The brigade of Wessells was ahead of time and reached you in good order and will do good service.
My pontoons did not arrive. I found the enemy re-enforcing F. after we took the Rocket Battery from him, and I resolved to strike elsewhere, and communicated to Captain Flusser my intentions.
Accordingly, on Monday, I sent parties to the Chowan to look for crossings, &c.; on Tuesday morning shelled South Quay, &c. These operations, as intended, brought additional force to F. and the lower river line.
At noon yesterday all my available force left for the demonstrations on the river. The command should have been across Blackwater at daylight, but has been delayed by the terrible condition of the roads, five hours having required to move 4 miles. At this hour (11 a. m.) firing is heard from the vicinity of Zuni, where the Petersburg Railroad crosses the Blackwater. Unless we draw very heavily from Weldon and Petersburg by rail some results should attend in addition to aiding your operations, he success of which I have much at heart.
Your favors of the 5th and 8th arrived at noon yesterday.
In haste, very truly,
JOHN J. PECK,
P. S.- Three thousand were reported in F. on the 2nd, and now 12,000 at F. and vicinity. Heavy additions have been made all along the river up to Zuni.
SUFFOLK, VA., December 12, 1862.
New Berne, N. C.:
Have sent communications to you via Norfolk and Winfield, giving you some details of my series of demonstrations. When we parted the enemy had in Franklin about 3,000, and perhaps as many more in the vicinity, and I was inclined to strike there. Finding the river wide and deep below and no pontoons to be obtained, and re-enforcements arriving there, I was compelled to change my point of attack, and accordingly released Captain Flusser from his co-operation. Fearing capture of the messengers, I did not tell the captain where I should make the demonstrations.
On Monday I sent cavalry and artillery to the Chowan, at Manny's Ferry, with a view to draw the enemy's attention in that quarter, which was entirely successful. About 1 a. m. Tuesday the camp in the vicinity of South Quay was shelled.