The force at present at New Berne, effective strength, is in the neighborhood of 9,000. I can still send a force to General Foster and hold the place.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
I. N. PALMER,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF VIRGINIA, SEVENTH ARMY CORPS, Fort Monroe, April 17, 1863.
Supposed to be for Major-General Halleck, and respectfully forwarded.
JOHN A. DIX,
STEAMER THOMAS COLYER, April 15, 1863.
Major General J. G. FOSTER, U. S. V.,
Washington, N. C.:
GENERAL: Yesterday your dispatch for Admiral Lee and General Dix were received, and as soon as I was assured of the safe arrival at Washington of the Escort I determined to run to Roanoke and direct the dispatches forwarded from there. I wrote to General Dix, informing him of what had occurred since your letter was written. I also notified the admiral of the arrival of Lieutenant-Commander Flusser.
I received the dispatch from General Wessells informing of the assembling of the enemy of Swansborough. From there they threaten the railroad, Morehead City, &c. Give me your advice, if possible, as to the best mode of operating in that direction. It was my intention to run immediately back to the blockade, but I will return to New Berne to see the state of affairs there, in order to get more men and supplies in case you should need them.
Please inform me if you wish the forwarding of these to be continued. I think Captain Flusser will change the affairs at the blockade somewhat.
The Colyer needs a few hours' work on her, which she can have done while her cargo is getting ready. It is my impression that any amount of men and supplies can be sent through.
Four thousand men were ordered from the Fourth Army Corps to re-enforce here, and I sent transportation to Gatesville for them. The order was countermanded, and I expect the transports to return immediately. Fighting at Suffolk, where papers say that Longstreet has been driven back. Nothing positive, however, is known.
Very hastily, respectfully, yours,
I. N. PALMER,
Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers.
UNITED STATES FLAG-SIP MINNESOTA, Off Newport News, Va., April 15, 1863-4.30 p. m.
B. B. FOSTER,
Asst. Adjt. General for General Peck, Suffolk, Va.:
Lieutenant Cushing reports that the enemy had not crossed at 1.15 o'clock to-day.
The tug which brought his report says all is quiet on the Lower nansemond, and our boats moving between Hallowing Point and the obstructions at Western Branch.