Two brigades have already arrived to re-enforce the troops already in the State for this purpose. I think by timely action I may disappoint their expectation, and shall therefore move on Kinston to-morrow morning at daybreak. I hope to defeat two brigades that the known to be there before assistance can arrive from Wilmington or Weldon or Tarborough. Succeeding in this, I shall push on to Goldsborough, destroy its railroad bridge, and another bridge across a swamp 10 miles south of Goldsborough, and then return to New Berne to prepare for an immediate attack on Wilmington.
I sincerely trust the re-enforcements asked for in my letter of the 18th November, together with the officers of experience required to command brigades, may be sent me as soon as the exigencies of the service will permit.
My present force of infantry, consisting of 9,000 men capable of marching and fighting, 6,000 of whom are new-nine months' men-is too weak to give a good support to my forty pieces of artillery and to afford a fair chance of success against the older troops of the enemy in front of us. I have therefore found it necessary to borrow from General Dix the service for a time of General Wessells' brigade, consisting of six regiments (2,200 men). These regiments were kindly promised me at the time I telegraphed to your from Old Points Comfort, and met me according to appointment on the night of the 6th instant on the Chowan River, where I received them on board my transport and brought them to this place, arriving yesterday.
General Peck has agreed to make a simultaneous attack on the Blackwater, from Suffolk, in which our gunboats are to co-operate. Even if I do not succeed in my expectations I hope my movement may be useful as a demonstration in favor of the Army of the Potomac.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. G. FOSTER,
FORT MONROE, VA., December 11, 1862.
Major-General HALLECK, General-in-Chief:
Major-General Peck is in great danger of breaking down unless he can have rest for twenty days. None can feel his loss at this time half so much as myself, for he has been all that I could ask in putting Suffolk in a state of defense and in preparing the troops for the field. But, feeling that it is absolutely necessary for him to have a respite, I respectfully ask it for him, and I telegraph in order it may commence at once, if approved.
JOHN A. DIX,
SUFFOLK, December 12, 1862.
Will end it here; will remain. We are very thin in numbers here. Ferry left at noon yesterday for Zuni, &c. Was to have been across at daylight. Writes the roads are in horrible condition. Was five hours moving 4 miles near Windsor. It is almost impossible to move in this country for the swamps and-roads.
Any particulars from Fredericksburg? Captain Flusser writes that the enemy burned about two-thirds of Plymouth.
JOHN J. PECK,