week; Jackson not there. Pryor has been to Richmond to give account of his operations before a court of inquiry and returned yesterday. Reports are contradictory that I get from prisoners.
JOHN J. PECK,
HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, EIGHTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
New Berne, March 5, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel SOUTHARD HOFFMAN,
SIR: I have the honor to report, for the information of the commanding general of the department, the following facts relative to the arrest of certain citizens of Edenton by the military authorities in the Department of Virginia, and of the carrying away of certain horses by the same authority:
It appears that after the firing upon a party of Dodge's cavalry, and the killing of one of them by some guerrillas near Edenton, a military force was sent to that place and arrested some 8 or 10 persons. On my recent inspecting tour I had an interview with the mayor and principal citizens of Edenton for the purpose of ascertaining all the facts in the ease. The citizens appear to be much outraged at the appearance of guerrilla parties in their vicinity, as of course they must suffer for it. They do not pretend to say anything in favor of some of those who were arrested, and say they are rejoiced that they have been carried away, as they are troublesome, bad men, and one or two of them are deserters from the rebel army.
Inclosed I send statement signed by those citizens concerning Joshua T. Stacy, Moses Hobbs, Seth Parker, John Coffield, John S. Leary, and J. S. Leary, jr., six of the persons arrested and carried to Suffolk.
The citizens who make these statements are said to be loyal men. My belief is that they have at least remained always, since Edenton has been in our possession, peaceable and quiet and desirous of doing no act against the United States authorities; and I think it nothing more than my duty to request you to bring the matter to the early attention of the commanding officer of the Department of Virginia in order that a fair investigation may be had in the several cases.
I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,
I. N. PALMER,
SUFFOLK, VA., March 6, 1863.
Three very intelligent non-commissioned officers have been out toward Blackwater looking for deserters. Last night they passed themselves for Confederates and had the freedom of the house of a leading rebel near Windsor, from whom they picked up many items. He said from 20,000 to 25,000 were on Blackwater; that a new general was there and they were coming over so soon as the river fell sufficiently. It was high and some bridges had been damaged. Their spies knew all about Suffolk; that we had 12,000, and two gunboats. These numbers agree very nearly with information I received from numerous quarters and from men of good judgment and general information.
JOHN J. PECK,