SUFFOLK, December 27, 1862.
Reports are reaching me from Carrsville and Windsor of the appearance of the enemy in force on this side the river. I have sent out scouting parties with orders to report as rapidly as possible.
O. S. FERRY,
HEADQUARTERS EIGHTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
New Berne, N. C., December 27, 1862.
Major General S. G. FRENCH,
Commanding Dept. of North Carolina, Petersburg, Va.:
GENERAL: Your favor of [13th] instant I received to-day. I most fully agree with you that war is most horrible in the misery and ruin it must causes, even when carried on according to the acknowledge rules of Christian nations, and therefore beg to call your attention to and ask if it was by your approval that in the recent attack on Plymouth many houses and other buildings were fired, and to that extent families ruined and rendered homeless; that only want of time prevented other damage being done. I would also call your attention to the case of Mrs. Phelps, who was shot dead by a Confederate soldier. On occupying the town of Kinston recently the streets were found in many cases full of burning cotton, naval stores, &c., a destruction of property which I do not know your approval or disapproval of. The effect was that one house was set on fire, and that it was only by the greatest effort of officers and soldiers that a large portion of the town was saved from destruction.
Trusting that by our united efforts the war within our departments may be robbed of some of its horrors, I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. G. FOSTER,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF VIRGINIA, SEVENTH ARMY CORPS,
Fort Monroe, Va., December 29, 1862.
Major General J. G. FOSTER,
Commanding Department of North Carolina:
GENERAL: Four thousand troops left Suffolk yesterday morning for Winfield; they will arrive to-day. Four thousand five hundred left and will leave within twenty-four hours, commencing at sunset last evening by water. The remaining 3,500 will be sent as rapidly as transport arrive -part to-morrow and the rest, I think, by the 2nd of January; perhaps before. I send you every old regiment I have except one, which is in this fort.
One hundred tons ammunition leave to-morrow for Beaufort. Two thousand shovels and spades and the sand bags are here and will go with the ammunition. Part of the wagons and ambulances go with the troops; the rest will be sent in time.
I believe nothing has been left undone. The bearer will receive any