War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0485 Chapter XXX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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SUFFOLK, VA., December 19, 1862.

Major-General DIX:

The expedition talked of, to be successful, should have six good pontoons, 5,000 infantry, two batteries of artillery, and 1,000 cavalry. The fords are not to be relied on; making bridges of felled trees will not do for artillery. We cannot spare the above number of infantry suitable for the undertaking at present and have not the pontoons. I will write you my views to-morrow.

O. S. FERRY,

Brigadier-General.

FORT MONROE, December 20, 1862.

Brigadier-General FERRY:

Can you not improvise some pontoons? There should be no delay. I will be very glad to have you lead the expedition, but no time should be lost in moving.

JOHN A. DIX,

Major-General.

SUFFOLK, [WASHINGTON,] December 20, 1862.

Major-General DIX:

Spear reported 12,000 about Franklin. If Foster and Burnside have relieved the recent excess on our front, an attack is desirable; would hazard nothing. Not less than 5,000 ought to be sent; 7,000 would be better. As the troops are benefitted by such duty we should always [send] enough. McClenna's Crossing is about the point. Great excitement in public mind since the late disaster.

JOHN J. PECK,

Major-General.

FORT MONROE, December 20, 1862.

Brigadier-General FERRY:

How many infantry have you fit for the expedition? I can give you some from this post and Yorktown, but in that case I must send you an officer ranking Colonel Foster, and abandon the diversion toward Zuni and Wakefield.

JOHN A. DIX,

Major-General.

SUFFOLK, VA., December 20, 1862.

Major-General DIX;

I can furnish, 1,000 cavalry; that is enough. I can make the 5,000 infantry by putting in two of the newest regiments. I can put General Spinola in command with Foster to lead the advance. I can issue my orders at 9 o'clock forenoon and have the column in march at 3 o'clock afternoon of the same day, which is the usual hour.

O. S. FERRY,

Brigadier-General.