Foster feels tolerably strong in Washington for some days, but the ultimate safety of that place depends on the batteries on the river being overcome. Our force to overcome them is not sufficient, and I therefore most respectfully but earnestly beg that if at all within your power re-enforcements be sent here. I should wish 10,000, but any will be acceptable, and the sooner the better, to save General Foster and perhaps to save North Carolina (i. e., New Berne) by preventing or rendering it unnecessary to send more troops from New Berne.
I expect, decidedly, gunboats from Admiral Lee, and trust we can punish the enemy; but they are strong and we are weak.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
I. N. PALMER,
A communication through the canal, informing me of the coming troops, will reach me before the troops will, and I can have such orders given as to their disposition as may be necessary. I have no transportation. These re-enforcements are of course only as a loan.
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH ARMY CORPS,
Fort Yorktown, Va., April 6, 1863.
Major-General Dix being temporarily absent, the undersigned hereby assumes command of the Department of Virginia and of the troops therein.
All reports and returns for general headquarters will be addressed as heretofore to the department staff officers at Fort Monroe, and the regulations and orders established by Major-General Dix will remain in force unless otherwise specially ordered by the undersigned.
E. D. KEYES,
Washington, April 7, 1863-3.10 p. m.
Major-General KEYES, Fort Monroe, Va.:
The instructions to General Dix were to co-operate with General Foster as far as possible, sending him re-enforcements if they could be spared, he being the judge of that. In the absence of any advices from North Carolina I can give you no more definite instructions.
H. W. HALLECK,
SUFFOLK, April 7, 1863.
Major General JOSEPH HOOKER,
Commanding Army of the Potomac, Falmouth:
Answered your communication.* Just examined a man who left Petersburg on Wednesday; confirms my previous information. Longstreet moving troops this way last week.
JOHN J. PECK,
*See Peck to Hooker, April 4.