for shovels will leave me only about 40 shovels. I send all the picks the quartermaster has here - only 4. I had but about 15 at Kinston. Have sent an order to Captain Divine, quartermaster, for 100 shovels and 20 picks. When they arrive the working party of 40 shovels will be increased by that number, and the work here will go on as laid off by Captain Barrows and Major Guion. Colonel Washington, with his regiment and two pieces of artillery, took up a position on Core Creek early Monday morning. He found it impracticable to cross the artillery, and sent two companies and a detachment of Nethercutt's over, under Captain Davis, to drive in their pickets. Captain Davis attacked their pickets in about 8 miles of New Berne, killing some 3 or 4. He reports after this Colonel Washington opened with artillery, and by felling trees and other noise made a demonstration of building the bridge and crossing in force. About night, after our troops had withdrawn, they ran their monitor car some 1 or 2 miles from their picket post and shelled the woods furiously, but did not venture nearer than 5 or 6 miles of the creek.
Very respectfully, & c.,
Petersburg, Va., March 27, 1863.
General W. H. C. WHITING,
Commanding, Wilmington, N. C.:
GENERAL: Your letter of the 25th is received. General Ransom's brigade is only temporarily at Goldsborough. It will return to you as soon as General Hill can draw out the subsistence stores in the eastern counties. During the absence of Daniel's and Pettigrew's brigades from Goldsborough it is thought the brigade of General Ransom can be well employed in protecting the railroad at Goldsborough, and at the same time give quite effectual protection to Wilmington by threatening New Berne in case of a movement from there against Wilmington. General Evans reported his brigade 3,500 strong when here a few days ago. I hope that you are doing well in your labors. The Postmaster-General promised me a few days ago to put Fort Caswell in telegraphic communication with your headquarters.
I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Weldon, N. C., March 28, 1863 - 8 p. m.
Commanding Department of Virginia and North Carolina:
GENERAL: I am this moment in receipt of an order by courier from Major General D. H. Hill, copy of which order I annex. Three companies of my regiment (D, E, F) are on detached service, under Lieutenant Colonel [John E.] Brown, and have been on the Chowan River. On the 23rd and 24th they fought the enemy, official report of which engagement I sent to General Hill's headquarters to-day. Subsequently Colonel Brown notified me by courier that the enemy were coming up Roanoke River in force to get in his rear and thus cut off his command, and that he had fallen back 10 miles this side of Colerain, and asking for re
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