War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0551 Chapter XXX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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SUFFOLK, March 3, 1863.

Major General JOHN A. DIX:

The indorsement of Colonel Dodge is as follows:

Not one individual member of the Mounted Rifles has ever refused to do any duty. No company has deserted nor is there any possible probability of such an occurrence. About 20 men have deserted since 1st January-12 of them together; can satisfactorily explain why. The morale of the regiment was never batter than it is to-day. My reasons for believing this are reliable, and will satisfy any one of the entire want of foundation for such rumors as are sent.

CHARLES C. DODGE,

Colonel, &c.

Have called for a report, which I will forward.

JOHN J. PECK,

Major-General.

SUFFOLK, March 4, 1863.

Major-General DIX:

Spear left at 11 last night, with the most profound secrecy, to cut off a guard on this side the bridge at Franklin. Two men deserted thirty minutes before he passed the pickets and carried the information to Franklin. All was ready for his reception-artillery, infantry, &c. He lost none but captured three. His last dispatch says Longstreet and Jackson are there with re-enforcements. Of the latter there can be but little doubt; as to those generals I cannot say. Longstreet has been reported in the West, which I do not believe.

JOHN J. PECK,

Major-General.

FORT MONROE, VA.,

March 4, 1863-9.20 a. m.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief:

It is reported to me from Richmond that nearly all the insurgent army has left Fredericksburg, and are moving to North Carolina and the Blackwater. A deserter from Richmond also states that there were but 30,000 men at Fredericksburg a week ago. I have just received the following dispatch from General Peck:

SUFFOLK, VA., March 3, 1863.

Major-General DIX:

The news from Blackwater is that the Ninth Corps is here or arriving, on the supposition that the enemy has been re-enforced to 20,000. A relative of Jefferson Davis is in command where Pryor has been. The artillery is especially mentioned as being the best in the South. Some new cavalry reported. This comes from persons residing in different places, and Spear credits it. Spear is going out this evening.

JOHN J. PECK,

Major-General.

JOHN A. DIX,

Major-General.

SUFFOLK, VA., March 5, 1863.

Major-General DIX:

Colonel Spear has returned. He reports 20,000 on the Blackwater. General Colston is there. General Longstreet is at Petersburg with two divisions of his corps. He visits Blackwater once or twice every