making military roads on Smith's Island where there were two guns; that the enemy were throwing up fortifications there, and that five hundred shovels and some men were sent to the island the day before he left, September 16. This merely shows that the enemy apprehend danger at those two points, and are preparing for it.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. G. FOSTER,
NEWTON, N. C., September 27, 1863.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
General Wessells has a friend who has been to Weldon. He reports General Ransom there with some 2,500 men, who, with over 1,000 contrabands, are engaged in fortifying all the approaches in a very strong manner, on both sides of the river. Troops at Garysburg, Jackson, &c. At Rainbow 1,500 infantry, field battery, and a number of heavy pieces. A regiment of Georgia cavalry has arrived for duty in Bertie County and an improved class of rangers. He reports they have been somewhat strengthened on the Tar River.
In view of these and other considerations, the general says:
On the whole, I think they are in a more effective condition in North Carolina than at any other time, particularly to resist aggression.
U. S. FLAG-SHIP MINNESOTA,
Off Newport News, Va., October 3, 1863.
Major General J. G. FOSTER,
U. S. Army,
Commanding Eighteenth Army Corps, Fort Monroe, Va.:
GENERAL: It was not until you were on board this afternoon that I was fully aware of the number of gunboats necessary to co-operate with the movements of the troops from Yorktown into Matthews and Gloucester Counties, to entrap the rebels, who, with several boats (moved on wheels), have twice recently issued from those counties and committed depredations on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. It was then understood between us that the troops would march from Yorktown to-morrow morning, and that the navy gunboats should rendezvous at Yorktown to-morrow, and leave there the next morning, some to go as high up the North and East Rivers as practicable, to co-operate with the troops, and others to prevent the escape of the rebels by the bay side of the Piankatank.
At 10 o'clock to-night I received your notification that the troops and gunboats (yours and those of the navy on that part of the blockade) had left Yorktown. I immediately dispatches two additional light-draught gunboats to the scene of operations, to assist Lieutenant-Commander Gillis.
I respectfully request that in future the plan of joint operations within the limits of our commands shall, when practicable, be fully and timely arranged between you and myself. In the Sounds of North Carolina emergencies may arise requiring immediate action from the senior army and navy officers present.
I have the honor to be, general, respectfully, yours,
S. PHILLIPS LEE,
Acting Rear-Admiral, Commanding N. A. Bkg. Squadron.