On learning that you had given directions for colored troops to occupy Elizabeth City, Jonesburg, Canal Bridge, and South Mills, I at once gave the proper orders for the transportation, and sent Lieutenant King, engineer officer to General Wessells, for the purpose of constructing any light works that might be deemed necessary. In case you place the counties of the sound under command of General Naglee, as I suggested, the troops of General Wessells can be withdrawn.
My stay at Hatteras Inlet was short, but I was well repaid by the excellent state of things under Captain Allen. The general health of the command is very gratifying.
Defense of New Berne. - The system comprised under this head is extensive, very complete, and admirably arranged. Any serious operations against New Berne would involve the attempt to seize the works on south side of Trent River. The forests along the Trent must be cut away before the ranges and power of the works can be fully developed. When the timber is cleared there will be a heavy interchange of fire, between the works divided by the Trent.
I am, very respectfully,
JOHN J. PECK,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, August 21, 1863-9 a. m.
Commanding Officer Cavalry Corps:
The major-general commanding deems it not advisable to transfer the brigade of Gregg to Gainesville, but in view of the information received last night indicating and abandonment of the design on the part of the enemy of a forward movement on our left flank,and of some movement on his part toward his center, the major-general commanding desires that you dispose of your cavalry now on the right flank (Gregg's division) so as to obtain the earliest intelligence of any change in the position of the enemy's troops or movement to turn our right flank by a route between us and the mountains, or by the way of the Valley of the Shenandoah, or to make a raid by either of these general routes.
The disposition on our left flank render that as secure as it is possible to make it.
A. A. HUMPHREYS,
Major-General, and Chief of Staff.
AUGUST 21, 1863-10 a. m.
(Received 12. 15 p. m.)
The movements of the enemy in the vicinity of Fredericksburg and United States Ford seem to have changed yesterday. My cavalry reported the enemy's pickets opposite Falmouth as being materially reduced in numbers and the men very quiet, refusing to talk. At the same time clouds of dust of considerable length were noticed on the roads leading south from Fredericksburg. A large force of cavalry, which had been near United States Ford, were believed to have moved up the river. Whether these different movements are