SPRING BANK BRIDGE, N. C.,
December 17, 1862.
Major General S. G. FRENCH,
Commanding, &c., Goldsborough, N. C.:
GENERAL: Please send the rations to this point. My men are, some of them, much in need of them.
B. H. ROBERTSON,
P. S. - Rest assured I will hold the ferry to the last extremity. I wish you could send Colonel Leventhorpe to me.
GOLDSBOROUGH, N. C., December 18, 1862.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
One of my best officers returned at 2 o'clock, having followed the enemy 13 miles on the road toward New Berne. He is satisfied that they are rapidly moving for that place.
G. W. SMITH,
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A.,
Richmond, Va., December 19, 1862.
General R. E. LEE:
A telegram from General Smith last evening announces that from the report of one of his best officers, who followed the enemy 13 miles, he is satisfied they are rapidly returning to New Berne. There is no reliable intelligence of any movements of the enemy either in the Peninsula or on the Blackwater. Your glorious victory has probably broken up all their plans and frustrated their hopes. No official intelligence of movements in the West.
J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
WILMINGTON, N. C., December 19, 1862.
General BEAUREGARD, Charleston, S. C.:
I have the following from G. W. [Smith]:
The enemy's next move will be here. Think they will go back to New Berne and Beaufort, though they may march direct. The enemy burned the railroad bridge yesterday. We crossed over the forces at hand by the county bridge, drove them back, and saved the county bridge. The enemy retired during the night, supposed toward Wilmington. They were here in very large force, supposed more than 20,000. My artillery and cavalry have not yet arrived from Richmond and Petersburg; expected to-day or to-morrow. Have not transportation sufficient even for ammunition. Will move as soon as possible.
W. H. C. WHITING.