Camp Fifty-eighth Regiment Pennsylvania Vols., May 13, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel SOUTHARD HOFFMAN,
SIR: I have the honor to report that a civilian who came down the Neuse road yesterday informs me that he found no posts at Core Creek, and has been told that there are none this side of Moseley Creek. Also the sergeant in charge of my daily patrol informs me that a man who came down the Dover road stated to him that there are no Confederate troops this side of Gum Swamp. There reports I shall endeavor to verify in the course of the day.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. RICHTER JONES,
Colonel Fifty-eighth Regiment, Commanding Outposts.
SUFFOLK, May 14, 1863.
Major Wentz thought he would be ready on Monday evening. Yesterday he said he would be at Carrsville before sunset. Colonel Foster went yesterday, and writes that the train is not through. He decided to try that road first after examination. Time is precious, but I hope we shall succeed. After taking up several mile he might change roads.
JOHN J. PECK,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF VIRGINIA, SEVENTH ARMY CORPS,
Fort Monroe, Va., May 14, 1863.
Major General E. D. KEYES,
GENERAL: I have forwarded your letter to the Adjutant-General, and suggested that Major-General Ord should have a command better suited to his rank than that of West Point, if one can be given to him. But he has behaved so handsomely I deemed it due to him to suggest also that his wishes should be consulted.
On the maturest consideration I have decided to make West Point and independent command. Your own is a very extensive and important one, embracing Gloucester Point, Yorktown, Williamsburg, and indeed the whole Peninsula. I do not think your attention should be divided between this command and another. You need nothing but troops to make it the most important in the department, as it brings you nearer to Richmond than any other except West Point, and regarding your limits as now extended to the neighborhood of the White House you are even nearer. Should the enemy reappear at Diascund Bridge I will do all I can to afford you the means of assailing him, as I proposed more than two months ago. It is very doubtful whether there will be an advance from West Point with a sufficient force to accomplish anything. If there should be I shall take the command myself.
You cannot doubt my desire to do all in my power to meet your wishes, and also to do justice to your rank. Circumstances have made the command at Suffolk during the last two months more important than any other, but events may at any moment render it necessary to throw the principal part of my force into your own command. I desire