SUFFOLK, October 3, 1862 - 10 p. m.
Spear was induced to go on to Franklin in consequence of supposed gunboat firing. He has held the enemy at bay all day with his little force, doing them much harm. For the night, he is occupying Beaver Dam Church. He has positive orders to fall back upon Wessells, 10 or 12 miles from here, toward Western Branch Church. Enemy's pickets, infantry and cavalry, reported at Windsor; probably result of deserter's information. Gunboats have not reached Franklin. Spear has done splendidly.
JOHN J. PECK,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA,
Fort Monroe, Va., October 3, 1862.
Actg. Rear-Admiral S. P. LEE,
Commanding North Atlantic Blockading Squadron:
ADMIRAL: I very much regret that last steamer sent with flag of truce to Aiken's Landing should have passed you without reporting. It was sent off in great haste, on a direction from the Secretary of War, with an officer who had never before been on that service. I have taken such measures as I trust will effectually prevent any such failure to report hereafter.
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of yesterday, and am, very respectfully, admiral, your obedient servant,
JOHN A. DIX,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
New Berne, N. C., October 3, 1862.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Commander-in-Chief U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to inform you that everything is quiet throughout this department, and as I am in the habit of making constant armed reconnaissances very little picket firing even is at the outposts.
The health of the troops is not particularly good just now (we have some 1,500 sick), but is improving, and expect that cold weather will soon bring them up.
Our hospital arrangements we have perfected to a great degree here, Beaufort, and Portsmouth, and we think they will compare most favorably with any United States hospitals elsewhere.
During our stay here we have formed and equipped, mounted and drilled, five light batteries from the Third New York Artillery. My requisitions for this object on the Ordnance Department have met generally prompt and full attention; the men are good, the officers take hold, and the batteries are, I think, quite efficient. I am now reorganizing thee batteries (2) of the New York Rocket Battalion, and for this purpose have required for six Napoleons and the necessary number of horses, which we hope will be promptly filled; also requisitions for cavalry horses to mount recruits and remount men whose horses have been killed in service or by an epidemic which broke out in the summer.
I had the honor to make a brief statement of my force in my letter of