Lewisburg jointly on Saturday, the 7th. If successful, Averell will go on to the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, if practicable; if not, he will proceed to the Valley of the South Branch, and thence to New Creek. I anticipate this movement will draw Imboden's force from the Shenandoah Valley west. I suggest to you to get an expedition ready to move up the valley and attack and disperse any force that may be left there by Imboden. Please give me your views on the subject, and all information you have in regard to the force in the valley.
B. F. KELLEY,
HDQRS. ARMY AND DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
New Berne, N. C., November 4, 1863.
Major General J. G. FOSTER,
Commanding Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina:
GENERAL: Your communication by Captain Fitzgerald was received at 9 a. m. this day, and I hasten to say that after extraordinary exertions, I have succeeded in procuring coal from the navy and from Beaufort, and shall leave at 5 p. m. for Plymonth and Winton with a wharf boat, the Rucker, Pilot Boy, Pawtuxent, Ella May, General Berry, and a tug in addition to the Farron. The Delaware will go up, and I shall procure further naval aid from Captain Fluser.
You say nothing of your numbers, and make no allusion to forage or rations, but to guard against all accidents, i shall take five days' forage for 2,600 animals and five days' rations for 3,000 men.
While writing, I learn that General Ransom has assumed command at Kinston; General Barton has gone to the Blackwater with his brigade. What this means I am as yet unable to state.
The steamer Robert E. Lee is about leaving Wilmington with mails for General Magruder, and funds to pay the troops in Texas.
The Jersey Blue has no coal for her trip to New York, and I send her with navy coal to Fort Monroe, with this in the hands of Captain Fitzgerald. Large gangs of contrabands have gone by rail to Weldon and Wilmington. Major-General Whiting advertises for a large number for his works.
In great haste, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN J. PECK,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA,
Fort Monroe, Va., November 4, 1863.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
General-in-Chief, U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose herewith a copy of a communication received this day from Acting Rear-Admiral S. P. Lee, commanding North Atlantic Blockading Squadron.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. G. FOSTER,