been up at West Point and sent a scout to the White House. The enemy has not been discovered in force, but their are indications of an intention to attack Williamsburg. I have taken precautions to bar the movements of the enemy, and I would like to have the opinion of Major General Dix as to the propriety of posting a regiment of infantry at Fort Magruder, below Williamsburg.
I have made two thorough inspections of the four regiments of Pennsylvania drafted militia, which have just arrive here, and found them all perfectly green. One of those regiments, the One hundred and seventy-second, I have assigned to duty at the heavy guns on the ramparts, and will lose no time in fitting all for service. At the present time none of them are in a condition to meet the enemy.
It is reported to me that the destruction of the salt-works in Matthews County was not complete. I have arranged with Captain Parker to go with a gunboat and 100 infantry and 50 cavalry on Wednesday next and complete that work.
I am much in want of an energetic brigadier, who understands tactics.
I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient servant,
E. D. KEYES,
Major-General, Commanding Fourth Corps.
UNITED STATES FLAG-SHIP PHILADELPHIA,
Hampton Roads, December 21, 1862.
Major General JOHN A DIX,
Commanding Seventh Army Corps:
GENERAL: The department directs that the complement of the Colorado shall be filed up with contrabands, owing to the impossibility of shipping men. It will advance the public interest if you will be so good as to give such orders as will enable Captain Goldsborough, of the Colorado, to receive and ship thirty-two able-bodied contrabands.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, yours,
S. P. LEE,
Actg. Rear-Admiral, Commanding N. Atlantic Blockading Squadron.
FORT MONROE, VA., December 23, 1862.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
I have just arrived from New Berne. My expeditions was a perfect success.* I burned the railroad bridge at Goldsborough and Mount Olive and tore up several miles of the track of the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad. We fought four engagements, viz, at Southwest Creek, Kinston, White Hall, and Goldsborough, and whipped the enemy handsomely each time. The force of the enemy is now largely increased in North Carolina from Fredericksburg, rendering the second step in my plan of operations of doubtful execution unless I am pretty largely re-enforced. Can I communicate freely on this point by telegraph or shall I come to Washington for the purpose? I have a steamer here and can be there in ten hours.
J. G. FOSTER,
* See "Expedition from New Berne to Goldsborough, N. C.," December 11-20, 1862.