ment to threaten Richmond by that approach, and to assist military movements in this vicinity. The whole matter is committed to your-self as being advised of the difficulties that exist in that river. The Roanoke has met with an accident to her middle turret, but is ordered peremptorily to Old Point.
Secretary of the Navy.
NEW BERNE, N. C., July 6, 1863. (Received July 7, 12. 55 a. m.)
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
I have the honor to own receipt of a telegram from you, via Fort Monroe, concerning the intercepted letter from Jefferson Davis. The prospects presented by it are most cheering, and I trust that the results of Meade's operations will fulfill the most sanguine expectations.
I have the honor to inform you that, in obedience to orders from General Halleck, a cavalry raid of my available force, about 700, is now out for the purpose of cutting and destroying the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad between Goldsborough and Wilmington. I have also sent out all my available infantry (2, 000), with two batteries of artillery, under the command of General Heckman, to Trenton, for the purpose of holding the line of retreat of the cavalry and preventing Colquitt's brigade from coming from Kinston and intercepting the cavalry. Heckman's forces are so disposed as to be able, I hope, to repulse any attack Colquitt may make.
So soon as the cavalry return, I purpose sending them again to cut the railroad farther north, between Goldsborough and Weldon. By these raids and movements of troops, I hope at least to retain in North Carolina the forces now here.
The information in Jefferson Davis' letter as to the forces in this State is, I believe, perfectly correct, corresponding with the information forwarded by me to General Halleck, and with information to-day received from two deserters. These men came through Richmond, and say that all the force in the city was town guard, and that the force in the neighborhood was small. At Petersburg they represent a small force; also at Weldon.
J. G. FOSTER,
HEADQUARTERS SEVENTH ARMY CORPS,
Series A, Numbers 13.
July 6, 1863.
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III. Pursuant to instructions from the headquarters of the Army, Brigadier-General Spinola, volunteer service, will embark to-morrow, with his brigade, and proceed to Washington, D. C., reporting to the General-in-Chief. Quartermaster's Department will furnish transportation.
By command of Major-General Dix:
D. T. VAN BUREN,