on the line and to ask for re-enforcements. As I have stated, there are at least 40,000 men in New Berne, say 5,000 in Suffolk, and small forces in other towns. We have but about 12,000 men and other 2,000 on the Blackwater to meet them. Would it not be better to send the timely aid of at least from 12,000 to 15,000 men? Should the fortunes of war be averse to us it will require double that number to restore our line where it now is. Therefore it is and because I have labored assiduously to maintain the line so long from the James to Wilmington, that now that it is imperiled I ask timely aid, which I trust you may be able to send. I mentioned to General Smith I should write you, and as our views of the necessity for aid are the same, he approved my doing so. The State of North Carolina is in danger. I inclose you some communications just received.
I have the honor to be, yours, most respectfully,
S. G. FRENCH,
Major-General, Commanding Department of North Carolina.
[Inclosure Numbers 1.]
NEAR BARFIELD, N. C., January 5, 1863
Colonel [D. D.] FEREBEE:
SIR: There are 12,000 Yankee troops in the counties of Gates and Chowan on their way to re-enforce General Foster at New Berne. Thirteen gunboats and transports made their appearance at Colerain, in Bertie County, this morning. It is thought that they are going to take on the 12,000 Yankee troops at Holly Wharf, or Dillard's farm. Others think they are gone by the way of the new canal down to Plymouth and from there to New Berne. There is no doubt in the world of their going to New Berne. I have seen several gentlemen who have seen them, and they all agree that New Berne is certainly their destination. There are a good many desertions from their army, and they all say that they are going to re-enforce New Berne.
D. W. LEWIS,
Lieutenant, Commanding Pickets on the Chowan River.
WELDON, N. C., January 7, 1863
I respectfully forward this note, but I have some doubts about the correctness of the information.
S. G. FRENCH,
[Inclosure Numbers 2.]
KINSTON, N. C., January 6, 1863
Major General S. G. FRENCH:
Captain Whitford reports fifty steamers at New Berne; about 50,000 troops; Generals Naglee, Peck, and Davis. Naglee, he supposes, will march on Wilmington, while Foster will attack this place and Weldon. Naglee's division is 15,000 strong. The prisoners state that the troops have no tents. Hard bread and beef cattle all brought from Yorktown. The enemy says that he will destroy the railroad between Weldon and Wilmington to prevent re-enforcements reaching Wilmington.
N. G. EVANS,