SUFFOLK, VA., March 17, 1863.
Major General JOHN A. DIX, Commanding Seventh Corps:
You will be pleased to learn that Lieutenant Hill, of the New York Mounted Rifles, with a patrol of 10 men, captured the noted forager, Brown, and 6 men between Windsor and the Blackwater. Three of the rebels escaped in the woods. Brown has managed many of the supply trains of General Pryor. The tact and determination evinced by this officer and his party deserve the favorable notice of the Government.
JOHN J. PECK,
HEADQUARTERS EIGHTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
New Berne, N. C., March 17, 1863.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
General-in-Chief U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to most respectfully and earnestly request that the detachment of the Eighteenth Army Corps now in the Department of the South be ordered to return here. My reasons for this request are the accounts from Port Royal show that there is no immediate prospect of a movement from that place, and the withdrawal of troops therefore would not be detrimental to the service; also the enemy are in large force in this State and becoming aggressive. General D. H. Hill is in immediate command, and the expressed determination of General Longstreet is to "clean out the Yankees from the State of North Carolina." Again, with the detachment of my troops returned I would be able to make some important movements in this State, cutting the railroad again, and, if a movement on the Blackwater were made simultaneously, perhaps reaching Weldon.
The enemy have a moving column 30,000 strong and with abundance of artillery. They should be met, and my picket troops and best artillery being absent I am utterly unable to do so.
I trust, general, that the above reasons given will be favorably received by you, and that in my request you will see a desire for the good of the service. I consider that we are perfectly able to act on the defensive here, but with the return of my detachment, from the lack of spirit displayed by the enemy in their recent demonstration, I feel confident that I can overpower the enemy here.
I have the honor to be, general, with great respect, your obedient servant,
J. G. FOSTER,
FORT MONROE VA.,
March 17, 1863-4 p. m.
Major General AMBROSE E. BURNSIDE, Washington, D. C.:
The First and Second Divisions are here. The Third Division, General Getty, has gone to Suffolk, viz, Ninth, Eighty-ninth, and One hundred and third New York; Tenth and Thirteenth New Hampshire; Eighth, Eleventh, Sixteenth, and Twenty-first Connecticut; Fourth and seventh Rhode Island, and Twenty-fifth New Jersey. The last left to-day, except the Ninth New York, which leaves to-morrow. General Willcox commands the corps; Ferrero the post of Newport News.
WM. H. FRENCH,