Much of course must be left to your own discretion, and the greatest confidence is placed in your judgment and abilities. The general's desire is to drive the enemy back and prevent their annoying our forces at Plymouth.
Yours, very respectfully,
FEBRUARY 2, 1863.- Destruction of Salt-Works at Wale's Head, Currituck Beach, N. C.
Report of Captain Francis E. Porter, Eighth Massachusetts Infantry.
HEADQUARTERS, Roanoke Island, February 5, 1863.
CAPTAIN: Pursuant to information received from you in your communications of December 29, 1862, of there being salt-works in operation Currituck Beach, I on the 2nd instant went with a force of 90 men on the United States steamer Halifax and succeeded in destroying the same, together with about 100 bushels of salt, without opposition. These same works are located at a place called Wale's Head and have before been destroyed by our forces, but were rebuilt and in full operation and, I should say, were manufacturing salt at the rate of about 50 bushels per day. My expedition was perfect success.
Trusting my actions may meet your approbation, I am, captain, respectfully, your obedient servant,
F. E. PORTER,
Captain, Commanding Post.
Captain JOHN F. ANDERSON,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, New Berne, N. C.
FEBRUARY 5, 1863.- Skirmish near Olive Branch Church, Va.
Report of Major Christopher Kleinz, Fifth Pennsylvania Cavalry.
CAMP MAGRUDER, Near Williamsburg, February 5, 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor to report that in obedience to instructions I proceeded this morning in command of the second and third squadrons, numbering in all 156 men, to make a reconnaissance of the country as far as Twelve Mile Ordinary. Arriving at Fort Magruder I was joined by 26 men, under Lieutenant Williamson, and from thence to William and Mary College; here I detached the third squadron, under Captain Stetson, with orders to take the Jamestown road an scout that portion of the country around by Green Spring farm; to come in by Centreville, and send me word as to his arrival down to the junction of the Centreville and Richmond roads, where I with the remaining part of my force, was waiting.
During the interval I sent Lieutenant Williamson on with his command toward York River, some 5 miles, who on returning reported no sign of an enemy. On receiving word of Captain Stetson's arrival at Centreville I marched to Six Mile Ordinary, where I was joined by Captain Stetson, who reported no traced of the enemy in the direction from