I also learn from various sources, so that I count on it as reliable to a reasonable degree, that the enemy's force in Kinston is now very small, not exceeding fire regiments, and that there are few troops at Goldsborough. Of the five regiments, one is at Gum Swamp and one at Wise's Forks, and the regiment at Gum Swamp is open to a movement on its rear and might be cut off. If it is through desirable under existing circumstances to seize Kinston and Goldsborough I would request to be allowed to strike the railroad somewhere north of Goldsborough, in order to intercept re=enforcements, &c. With one good infantry regiment added to my own and three or four troops of cavalry and a section of artillery I feel confident I could reach that railroad with little or no opposition and break it up extensively, that is, provided the intention be kept entirely secret.
The enterprise would justify some labor and risk in reference to the capture of Goldsborough only, but as connected with a simultaneous movement from suffolk on Weldon it might materially interrupt the enemy's communications and influence the war.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. RICHTER JONES,
Colonel Thirty-eighth Pennsylvania Vols., Commanding Outposts.
FORT MONROE, VA.,
May 16, 1863--1 p. m.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Colonel Foster is covering our work, which is in good progress, on the railroad near Carrsville. Has been engaged with the enemy more or less for two days. A lively artillery fire has been kept up on our workmen. Yesterday the enemy advanced within canister-range, but was driven back with considerable loss. On our side a caisson was riddled, a horse killed, and 9 men wounded. The iron is arriving in Norfolk. When we get on the other road we shall probably have some sharp fighting.
JOHN A. DIX,
FORT MONROE, May 16, 1863.
A report has just reached me, not on the best authority, that the enemy has 5,000 men at Scott's factory and 10,000 at Colonel Thomas'. Where these places are I do not know, but somewhere between the Blackwater and the Nansemond, I believe.
JOHN A. DIX,
SUFFOLK, VA., May 16, 1863.
Scott's factory is at Smithfield, but the other place I cannot locate exactly. That is a good country for supplies, and from it they flank all moves on Blackwater. If there, it looks like assuming the offensive, for there is a considerable force on the river massed near Franklin.
JOHN J. PECK,