HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
New Berne, November 18, 1862.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
General-in-Chief U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: Referring to my report of recent reconnaissance, I have the honor to make the following statements.
The enemy have much increased their force and their activity in this State. We have engaged at different times in one way, and another seven old regiments, viz, the Eight, Tenth, Seventeenth, Twenty-sixth, Thirty-first, Fifty-first, and Fifty-ninth; and I am informed by what I consider reliable authority that Governor Vance has had a difficulty or quarrel with President Davis as regards conscripts, the consequence of which is that the Governor is raising or has raised two brigades of conscripts within assisting distance of Goldsborough. Their artillery force I think to be inferior to mine as yet. There were at Tarborough sixteen pieces, and I found threatening this town on my return ten other pieces. These, with the supporting force, retired on my return. And in the same connection of General Longstreet to the command of this department. This report has since been confirmed, both here confirmed, both here and in the Richmond papers. In addition, Governor Vance in person was with the forces at Tarborough.
I would respectfully remark that the above simple statements prove the reliability of my opening paragraph, and, in additional, show the determination of the enemy to withstand my advances in their rich country of the eastern counties, and also, if possible, to diminish my hold on that section. On the other hand the weakening influences of the past malarious season has so weakened the strength of my old regiments that for hard, active service I have scarcely available one-half their nominal strength at the moment. The new regiments (nine months' men) arrived here, viz, the Third, Fifth, Forty-third, Forty-fourth, Forty-fifth, and Forty-sixth Massachusetts, are good troops but are new, and some never have their arms, and I should wish some drill before trusting them in a flight.
Admiral Lee has been here, and with him I have had a full and free talk, and am happy to say that he fully coincides with me in my views as to co-operation and as to force required.
Referring to the above simple statements I would most respectfully suggest that if possible I should be allowed at once 10,000 old troops in addition to the few new troops ordered here, and would express my hopes and wishes that those old troops should be the men of the Ninth Army Corps, with whom I have been associated and of which corps I was the senior officer under General Burnside.
The sooner I have the force the sooner I will endeavor to perform my plans, and, I think, the views of Government, viz, the cutting of the railroad (Weldon and Wilmington) and the taking of Wilmington and the works at New Inlet and the mouth of the Cape Fear River.
I most respectfully request, in addition to the office recommended for promotion to brigadier-general, that three regular brigadier-generals be sent me, and as a matter of choice I would suggest General Gillmore, and if none be available now appointed, call your attention to Captains Prime, Morton, and Casey, of the Engineer Corps, and Lieutenant-Colonel Biggs or Captain D. W. Flagler, Ordnance Corps, as most acceptable to me. I would also ask and engineer officer, of which I have none, and an ordnance officer. I have received from General Dix a letter as