HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
Petersburg, Va., November 27, 1862.
General J. G. FOSTER, U. S. A.,
New Berne, N. C.:
DEAR SIR: During the march of the army under your command up the valley of the Roanoke River, in the early part of this month, many wanton acts of destruction of private property and many depredations were committed by the troops under your command.
Negroes were forcibly abducted from their owners; many isolated houses, in the villages of Hamilton and Williamston were willfully burned; parlors of private residences were used for stables; family carriages were taken to your camps, abandoned, and destroyed; houses of peaceful citizens were forcibly entered, doors and windows broken and all the furniture destroyed; bedding was carried into the streets and burned; women were insulted by your soldiers and robbed of all the money and valuables on their persons, and all their clothing and that of their children, except what they had on, was cast into the fire or torn to pieces.
In general terms, your soldiers committed many robberies and practiced a wanton and malicious destruction of private property. Having been over a portion of your line of march and examined these evidences of destruction I reported them to my Government, and I am instructed to address you and inform you that such outrages are considered as forfeiting the right of yourself and officers to be treated as prisoners of war, and to inquire of you whether these outrages were committed with your knowledge and sanction.
The action to be taken in the case will depend on the answer you may make, and if no answer be returned in ten days after the delivery of this letter it will be considered by the Government that you admit and hold yourself responsible for the acts charged.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. G. FRENCH,
WASHINGTON, D. C., November 29, 1862.
Major-General DIX, Fort Monroe, Va.:
Several regiments of Pennsylvania drafted militia will be sent to you as soon as transportation can be procured.
H. W. HALLECK,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA,
Seventh Army Corps, Fort Monroe, Va., November 29, 1862.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
GENERAL: I received the day before yesterday a letter from Major-General Foster, dated the 14th instant, at New Berne, in reply to mine suggesting a co-operation between his forces and mine in a movement against the enemy, and I immediately sent an officer to him to order to