War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0994 NORTH CAROLINA AND S. E. VIRGINIA. Chapter XXX.

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papers to the 9th ultimo, and the subjoined note from a friend, dated the 13th instant:

There has been great excitement here during the past few days owing to the action of our troops at Williamsburg and on the south side of the James River. On Saturday night the long bridge across Hampton Creek was lined with sentinels, and so great was the fear that the reels would make a descent that long piles of combustibles were placed on the eastern end to facilitate its intended destruction if they came in sight. In consequence of disasters present and likely soon to occur, military men exhibited great despondency, and are unanimous in speaking most disparagingly off Uncle Sam's prospects. General Dix is absent in New York, trying to persuade Governor Seymour to furnish him inability to do unless strongly re-enforced, and that right speedily. To conciliate the Governor he is using pleas of Democratic fellowship, &c.; with what success has not yet transpired. Foster, in North Carolina, is in a most critical condition; nor can one man be sent him, either from this point or from Suffolk.

After reaching the south side on Tuesday morning a heavy cannonade began, which continued until nightfall. The next morning I met a man who was acting as a guide the day of the firing, and he informed me that he had been almost entirely around Suffolk; that the Norfolk and Petersburg road was then in our possession, and tow brigades were pushing rapidly on to the Seaboard and Roanoke road; that our light batteries were lining both banks of the Nansemond, and had sunk one gunboat and disabled two others. Rifled 32s were being brought up and a pontoon bridge thrown across to facilitate their passage. If his information is entirely reliable (and I see no reason for doubting it) Suffolk is completely isolated.


Captain, C. S. Army.


New Williamsburg, Va., April 16, 1863.

Major General ARNOLD ELZEY, Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: This is now Thursday morning; all is quiet, and I shall begin to fall back at 3 o'clock this evening. This is the fifth day after our attack upon the enemy, and they have shown no disposition to advance. We have all the forage and provisions that can be obtained in the neighborhood and sent them behind us. About Saturday or Sunday next I expect to reach Diascund Bridge by falling back slowly and posting my cavalry close up to Williamsburg. I wish you would say by courier whether I shall leave the forces at Diascund as they were before my advance (Colonel Tabb's command), or what number of forces I shall leave there, and also please say whether I am to fall back to Chaffin's farm with my force. I must beg of your to order forward Captain Doby's company of cavalry immediately, the cavalry force here being very insufficient and inefficient.

Very respectfully and truly,




Six Mile Ordinary, Va., April 16, 1863-6.30 p. m.

Major General ARNOLD ELZEY, Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: After getting all the force and provisions in Williamsburg and its immediate neighborhood I left Casey's, 2 miles from Will-