brigade to General Whiting and the two siege guns (30-pounder Parrotts) to General French for the Blackwater. All is reported quiet in the direction of New Berne. Your letter of the 23rd is just received.
G. W. SMITH,
BURWELL'S BAY, December 29, 1862.
Brigadier General HENRY A. WISE:
GENERAL: Yesterday was the first time I could get a view of Newport News since my note of the 20th instant; it has been hazy all the time. Found only two vessels in sight to-day. A small sloop passed down from Mulberry Island; she had the United States flag flying.
On the night of Christmas eve a party of negroes came over from the other side and robbed a gentleman by the name of Branch of meat and other things to the value of over a thousand dollars. Branch lives 6 miles above my station. This is the second time they have come over since I came here. These negroes are said to be camped in nearly every vacant farm house from Jamestown Island to Newport News. If I had 30 men and a sufficient number of boats I believe I could capture a number of these negroes.
CLAREMONT, December 30, .
GENERAL: I received two dispatches to-day, one indirect; the other has been delayed several days.
Abstract from Field Report* of the troops of the District of the Cape Fear, commanded by Brigadier General W. H. C. Whiting, for December, 1862.
Present for duty.
Troops. Office Men Effectiv Aggrega
rs e total te
Brigadier-General 111 1,858 2,031 2,409
Colonel Harrison's 70 1,071 1,144 1,415
24th Regiment South 35 587 614 688
Field artillery (four 18 357 361 395
10th Battalion North 13 175 203 213
City guard (two 7 117 119 156
Bridge guard 1 31 31 32
Light-House Battery (one 4 71 71 85
Fort Caswell (six 19 258 353 483
Fort Fisher (nine 28 540 673 794
Fort French (one company) 4 47 47 61
Fort Johnson (two 9 105 109 132
Fort Saint Philip (four 11 162 204 268
Grand total. 339 5,379 5,960 7,131
*This report does not include seven companies of cavalry. It is forwarded without this to prevent further delay.