War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0724 NORTH CAROLINA AND S. E. VIRGINIA. Chapter XXX.

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SUFFOLK, VA., May 20, 1863.

General DIX:

The papers do our cause almost as much harm as the rebel armies. Hooker's moves were all read in the papers long before the hour for Lee to strike, and he knew both sides of the game.

Wentz commenced as he did to save time. He has not reported this morning, but I believe I will transfer the work at dark.

A deserter says between 20,000 and 30,000 on Blackwater under Longstreet. Have not believed it.

JOHN J. PECK,

Major-General.

SUFFOLK, VA., May 20, 1863.

Major-General DIX:

I ordered Windsor to be occupied at dusk as a base of operations, which you fully understand. Work is to be rushed vigorously. Fortifications of Suffolk are in progress.

JOHN J. PECK,

Major-General.

SUFFOLK, May 20, 1863.

Major-General DIX:

Wentz is now within 3 miles of Suffolk. The programme is all arranged for the matter spoken of.

JOHN J. PECK,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS OUTPOSTS,

Camp Fifty-eighth Regiment Pennsylvania Vols., May 20, 1863.

Lieutenant Colonel SOUTHARD HOFFMAN,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

SIR: I have the honor to report that I propose sending the Fifty-eighth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers to-morrow morning (Thursday) to seize the crossings of Core Creek, to rebuild the bridges, and to capture, if practicable, the enemy's post at the railroad switch; to raise up at all events the latter enterprise as a cover and pretext for our ulterior movements.

To carry on the movement without losing time and opportunity I ought to have the re-enforcements by rail or otherwise at Core Creek to-morrow afternoon or evening; the earlier, the more time for the men to rest and sleep. I contemplate moving from Core Creek about 10 p. m., so as to reach my position just before daylight.

I might effect our object with two regiments, but to guard against possibilities I wish six; also three companies of cavalry, two pieces of artillery (though the artillery is not likely to be used), and the men had better have three days' rations. For cavalry I should prefer Pond's company and Jacob's, who have been with me before; and I shall take Wilson's (now the line) for the third.

As regards your suggestion respecting the Trent road I shall carry it out by ordering one of the cavalry companies now on that end of the line, or both, with two companies of the infantry now there, to make a