War of the Rebellion: Serial 049 Page 0456 OPERATIONS IN N. C.,VA.,W. VA.,MD.,AND PA. Chapter XLI.

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pounder, I have moved a 100-pounder from Hatteras, which is the only available gun of the kind in North Carolina. I do not feel very apprehensive, unless the ram moves in conjunction with a lad force. The reported examination of the channel is explained by deserters from Fort Branch, at Rainbow Bluff, who state that week before last torpedoes were placed in position in the river below. The destruction of the ram now will be attended with great difficulty, as an earthen battery for four guns has been constructed, and a guard of from 200 to 500 infantry is maintained there. They Twenty-fourth North Carolina and a six-gun battery are at Hamilton, while detachments are usually on all the approaches. Its proximity to Weldon renders any raid very uncertain, in consequence of the activity of the rebels.

Fort Branch is at Rainbow Bluff, and is and inclosed work of much strength. At present it is armed with twelve rifles, including one 64-pounder and three 24-pounders.

Doubtless General Foster advised you that he had withdrawn all the best and available troops from North Carolina. There is no reserve force her eor in any of the sub-districts. In case of an advance upon the lines, the force would be quite too small for a proper defense.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN J. PECK,

Major-General.

HDQRS. ARMY AND DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA,

New Berne, N. C., November 14, 1863.

Major General BENJAMIN F. BUTLER,

Commanding Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina.

GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose some Confederate papers. By examining the telegraphic matter, you will find a telegram of the 8th from East Tennessee, claiming the capture of 850 prisoners, 40 pieces of artillery, 2 stand of colors, 60 wagons, and 1,000 arms. If reliable, these are a part of General Burnside's army. The same paper had a telegram of the 8th from Raleigh, announcing my arrival at Winton, with gunboats and troops for a move on Weldon; also that a proper force was at hand to meet the command. They express the opinion that 2,000 cavalry and 15 pieces of artillery were also destined for the same point, showing clearly that the rebel authorities were advised of your intentions before I was. Norfolk is one city of spies, and communication is kept up day and night by land and water with the rebel army.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN J. PECK,

Major-General.

HDQRS. ARMY AND DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA,

New Berne, N. C., November 14, 1863.

Brigadier General H. W. WESSELLS,

Commanding Sub-District of the Albemarle:

GENERAL: I found Captain Flusser quite nervous about the ram on the Roanoke, in consequence of a report made to you of an examination of the river by Mr. Lynch. Since I assumed command in