War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0484 NORTH CAROLINA AND S. E. VIRGINIA. Chapter XXX.

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SUFFOLK, December 18, 1862.

Major-General DIX:

The West End has gone to Norfolk for coal and will arrive there about this time or a little later.

O. S. FERRY,

Brigadier-General.

SUFFOLK, December 18, 1862.

Major-General DIX:

I have this evening a report from my post at Providence Church that the enemy are this side the Blackwater, near Isle of Wight Court-House, in force. I am sending out a detachment to reconnoiter. I do not think it advisable to undertake the other expedition till the detachment returns and reports the facts.

O. S. FERRY,

Brigadier-General.

SUFFOLK, December 18, 1862.

Major-General DIX:

The report about a rebel force at Isle of Wight is not well founded. I have examined the parties form whom it was derived. Colonel Spear has not returned yet. I based my opinion of the possibility of taking Franklin upon his former reports. I have this evening talked with Colonel Foster, who was out with Wessells. I think you should see him before ordering an expedition. I will send him to the fort to-morrow if you think best. He is a brave, experienced, and judicious officer.

O. S. FERRY,

Brigadier-General.

FORT MONROE, December 19, 1862.

Brigadier-General FERRY:

Let me know if Colonel Foster is coming here; if not, when you send out the expedition. No time should be lost, as Burnside's retreat leaves Lee's army at liberty, and in a few days may have 20,000 or 30,000 men on the Blackwater. My forcer is ready.

JOHN A. DIX,

Major-General.

SUFFOLK, December 19, 1862.

Major-General DIX:

Colonel Foster is on the way to you now with dispatches from me.

O. S. FERRY,

Brigadier-General.

FORT MONROE, December 19, 1862.

Major-General PECK:

Colonel Spear is confident he can cross 2 miles above South Quay with 3,500 infantry, 1,000 cavalry, and eight pieces of artillery and take Franklin. General Ferry thinks 5,000 infantry necessary. What think you? Answer immediately. I shall make a diversion from Smithfield the day before.

JOHN A. DIX,

Major-General.