WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., June 22, 1863.
Major General D. H. HILL, Commanding, &c.:
GENERAL: The delay is so great in transmitting and deciphering dispatches in the cipher used by the signal corps, that I shall here-after, when necessary to employ cipher, communicate with you in the following, viz: Reverse the alphabet, taking Z for A, Y for B, X for C, &c.
I request you to use the same cipher in your dispatches to the Department.
Your obedient servant,
J. A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War.
KINSTON, N. C., June 22, 1863.
[General D. H. HILL:]
GENERAL: I have heard rumors of re-enforcements at Carolina City, but received no positive intelligence. I do not place much reliance on [Henry] Dickson`s report.
The Yankees came up above Core Creek two days ago with a company or two of cavalry and a piece of artillery. They accomplished nothing, and went back uneasy, burning or destroying the bridge over Core Creek.
I sent down a party, with the hope that they or another company would lay themselves open again. My party scoured the country for miles below Core Creek, and could not find a straggler.
Major Whitford informs me that 20 or 30 more refugees from New Berne have come out. They report the enemy to be 5, 000 or 6, 000 strong, including negroes.
The lines of works inclosing this place are extensive, and it will take months to complete them. A regiment is detailed every day for fatigue, and the work progresses, as usual with such details, slower than I wish; still, a good deal has been done.
Colonel [Emory F.] Best was placed in arrest as soon as the charges were preferred. He is a good drill officer, and strict in discipline, without judgment in its exercise; this may have some influence in making his officers bitter against him, but he has rendered himself liable to distrust, and I should have ordered no investigation if it had not been made necessary by the charges sent forward. Major [M. R.] Ballenger is in command of the regiment.
A. H. COLQUITT,
SALT SULPHUR SPRINGS, Monroe County, Va., June 22, 1863.
Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON, Secretary of War:
SIR: Your letter of the 17th instant was received to-day. I have given no order whatever prohibiting the removal of cattle, horses, and sheep from the counties of Pocahontas, Randolph, &c. On the contrary, I have encouraged, and shall continue to encourage, such removal. There is an order prohibiting the removal of provisions from the department, but not the removal from one point in the de-