to be able to prevent our passage. This is the lesson they have learned at Vicksburg, Port Hudson, Fort Pemberton, and at Charleston. If they fortify the James down to its mouth or is closed for our proposes and left free for their. It brings their iron-clads, now lying idle at Richmond, clear down to Hampton Roads where they may lie in wait and have their opportunities always in sight. To complete this grand scheme of operations Norfolk is wanted, and then, with their iron-clads, that city wound be an open port until we could complete another fleet of monitors to close it up again. We tried to developed all this some days ago. Moreover, there are indications that the rebel leaders intend to defend Richmond with a much smaller army than that hitherto devoted to that purpose, and upon a line much nearer to that city than the Rappahannock. That is the reason why there is so much activity in strengthening the works immediately in front of Richmond. They know that we can scarcely assail that city by the land route, for that compels a long line of communications, which experience tells them they can break up which a small and active body of cavalry; hence another reason for fortifying the James and closing the water approaches against our iron-clads. All these consideration make the campaign about Suffolk a rather important feature of the war and not a mere episode. It appears to be over for the present, but we trust that the vigilance, activity, and skill which have thus far baffled the enemy will continue to be exerted, and that General Peck will have supports at hand. Longstreet's withdrawal may only be temporary, to wait the tardy arrival of Hill from North Carolina.
the Richmond Examiner of November 27, 1863, has the following in its leading editorial Lieutenant-General Longstreet and his Knoxville and Suffolk campaigns, which are pronounced as parallel failures. The liberal admission by the rebel press at the time and now respecting the Suffolk operations are highly creditable to the command of Major-General Peck, and ought to satisfy those who sought to underrate that campaign:
Perhaps the result might have different if Longstreet and his corps of the Virginia army has been in line. His operations in East Tennessee afford little compensations for the reverse at Chattanooga, nor have the late bare and scanty news from that quarter sustained the high hope which have the public justly based on the first intelligence briskly forwarded by General Bragg. His telegram declared that Longstreet's cavalry had pursued the enemy into Knoxville, that the infantry was close up, and it was natural to suppose that the next news would be that of Knoxville's recapture; but the next news Longstreet contained a mention of intrenching which suggested disagreeable reminiscences of Suffolk. Since them little or nothing has been heard from Longstreet unless we are to receive the unofficial story of the telegraph this morning to be trustworthy. On, that it may be so! His pressure on Burnside had undoubtedly quickened Grant's attack on Bragg, while the absence of his whole corps from the Confederate line at the time of Sherman's arrival in the Federal host has given the enemy a great opportunity. it was during the parallel campaign of Longstreet against Suffolk that Hooker made his coup at Chancellorsville; but he found there Jackson, with Grant to do with Bragg alone.
HDQRS. ARMY AND DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
New Berne, N. C., December 25, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to make the following supplementary reports as a part of my report of operations during the siege of Suffolk in April and May last:
The name of Colonel J. P. McMahon, One hundred and sixty-fourth New York, should have been in the paragraph commencing with "Colonel Murphy, commanding brigade."