FORT MONROE, January 16, 1863.
Major-General PECK, Suffolk:
It seems difficult to believe that there are between you and Deep Creek any except guerrillas belonging to the counties of Virginia and North Carolina to the east and south of you. If you think otherwise it is important to ascertain. There is no doubt a very bad feeling in that direction growing out of the trouble at Elizabeth City, where, I am told the officer in command of the North Carolina native troops has armed 200 negroes.
JOHN A. DIX,
SUFFOLK, VA., January 16, 1863.
Mr. Nash, Federal surveyor from Norfolk County, represents that a force of 20,000 or 25,000 is on the Blackwater; that 3,000 of Stuart's cavalry will make a raid through the swamp and attack Portsmouth and Norfolk. He says his information is from a reliable source. He stated that he has communicated this matter to General Viele. Who is Mr. Nash? I give it as it comes to me.
JOHN J. PECK,
HEADQUARTERS EIGHTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
New Berne, January 17, 1863.
General-in-Chief U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: I regret to say I have not been able to embark as soon as I expected, owing to the non-arrival of siege ammunition and water, but am now embarking, and I will continue until I am all ready and then start at once.
I shall leave everything in safe condition here under General Prince, with at least 12,000 infantry, artillery, and cavalry. I consider this ample, for a short time at least.
I consider it necessary that I should go with the force going, as many of troops are old men with me, and my experience in disembarking, &c., is extensive, so I can see them disembarked safely. I shall communicate the result of this as soon as possible.
If it is found that the work is heavier than I now anticipate I shall leave my troops safe and return at once to Hampton Roads for re-enforcements. I do not think it safe to leave less than 12,000 men in this department at present.
I am, however, confident of success, and shall do everything in my power to insure an early and satisfactory result.
The amount of solid shot for the siege guns arrived up to this time is not sufficient, and I have written to General Ripley on this subject, urging him to hurry it forward.
I remain, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. G. FOSTER,