GOLDSBOROUGH, N. C., April 5, 1863.
Major G. MOXLEY SORREL, Assistant Adjutant-General:
I have no cavalry to send to Wilmington; all available actively employed. Claiborne's horses broken down. Will send the companies as soon as possible.
B. H. ROBERTSON,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Cavalry.
HDQRS. FORCES ON BLACKWATER, April 6, 1863.
Lieutenant General JAMES LONGSTREET:
GENERAL: I have postponed for a few days my attempts upon the enemy's advanced post, having found him much on the alert. In view of your designs I have taken steps to have them think you are gone to the West with the greater portion of your forces to meet Burnside's movement. I will send an intelligent officer or scout to-night or discover whether it will be possible to throw a force by the south side between Suffolk and Norfolk. He will have no idea, of course, why I wish to know, as I will lead him to suppose it is merely for a cavalry raid to tear up the railroad, &c. If it cannot be done we might effect the same object by crossing the Nansemond River by pontoon. My last estimate of the forces at Suffolk I think correct-say 12,000 to 15,000. If you succeed in capturing them it will be the most brilliant affair of the war and would be attended by glorious results to the cause. Part of Lane's battery has arrived, but the most important gun for our purposes is not with it, and the ammunition is defective. I hope the Whitworth gun will be here in time for the gunboat; at any rate I will make the attempt with the guns I have the next trip they make.
I am, general, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS, April 6, 1863.
General M. JENKINS, Commanding at Blackwater:
GENERAL: I desire that you have your command in readiness to cross the Blackwater on Friday. The divisions of Generals Pickett and hood will not be able to cross before Sunday; but if the force at Suffolk is no larger than stated in your letter of the 4th you will be able to cross with the two brigades on the day before them and take up some strong position between the Blackwater and Suffolk. You will probably cross at the Franklin Bridge. I hope to join you on Thursday at your headquarters and will then give detailed instructions. The regiment of Colonel Baker should be ready to move with you. You should have four days' rations cooked. The squadron of Captain Graham is ordered to be at Blackwater Bridge, to cross at that point, and move on the flank via Windsor. The pickets that you have on the other side of the Blackwater had better be left there, provided with the number of rations already mentioned. You can take them on to join you after crossing. You will require tools for intrenching. The cavalry should be provided with wires to stretch across the roads in case the enemy's cavalry should attack it, particularly for any cavalry charge.
Please acknowledge receipt of this by telegraph.
I remain, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,