Hanover, Richmond, Petersburg, Weldon, Wilmington, Raleigh, Augusta, Atlanta, and Chattanooga, and returned here this morning, via Dublin and North River. Reports Clingman's brigade at Wilmington; Colquitt dead, his brigade at Kinston; Ransom's brigade at Weldon; Pickett, with Armistead's brigade, Washington Artillery, and part of the Thirteenth Virginia Cavalry, recruiting at Petersburg; Wise's Legion at Charleston, S. C. ; part of Elzey's division at Drewry's Bluff, rest gone to Jones, at Bristol; Imboden, if not with Stuart, aiming at railroad at Piedmont; Tredegar Works making a large number of heavy guns; Revered Hoge Landed at Wilmington, October 10, with from ten to fifteen thousand French tenshooters; Army of Northern Virginia, under Ewell consists of his corps and A. P. Hill's; Lee, with Bragg's army, 125,000 strong. Hunnicutt says he acts under Colonel Sharpe, deputy provost-marshal, Army of the Potomac. Tried to get into our lines at United States Ford on the Rappahannock, but could not. He leaves in the morning for Washington.
E. P. SCAMMON,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA,
Fort Monroe, Va., October 23, 1863.
Commander-in-Chief, U. S. Army:
GENERAL: I have received information from deserters to the effect that the enemy, seeing the advantage that might accrue to us from the possession of Smith's Island, have occupied it and commenced the erection of a work at Bald Head. I have sent Colonel Dutton, Twenty-first Connecticut Volunteers (Engineer Corps, U. S. Army), to examine and report. This is a very important matter in connection with the commencement of operations against the forts at the mouth of the Cape Fear River. From Bald Head, Fort Caswell can be battered and the channel controlled, while a night attack with infantry might secure the work on Zekes Island, and thus enable us to control the east channel. I do not see what I can do. The small movable force that I have collected here acts now as a reserve for any threatened point, and is available for any movement to the front of our present positions. But to take it so far away as Smith's Island may endanger the safety of the points now held. Besides, the force is too small for the work at Smith's Island and Caswell both, and may even now be too small for the taking of Smith's Island alone. I want to do something, and as soon as Colonel Dutton returns will make a fuller report, and ask for your instructions.
Very respectfully, and truly, your obedient servant,
J. G. FOSTER,
HDQRS. ARMY AND DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
New Berne, N. C., October 23, 1863.
Major General J. G. FOSTER,
Commanding Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina:
Your orders for the additional force came to hand this morning, and found me with less facilities than ever before. Our steamers