NEW YORK, CITY, December 12, 1863-2.30 p.m.
(Received 2.40 p.m.)
Hon. P. H. WATSON,
Assistant Secretary of War:
Information has been sent to the enemy that the United States forcese contemplate a land attack on Wilmington, N. C., and preparations therefor going on at New Berne.
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, December 13, 1863-3 p.m.
Fort Monroe, Va.:
It has been suggested that Lee, since Meade's failure to attack him, has or may send re-enforcements to Longstreet by rail through to Lynchburg. Please send all information on that point which you may be able to obtain.
H. W. HALLECK,
FORT MONROE, VA., December 14, 1863.
(Received 5.20 p.m.)
SECRETARY OF WAR:
I have much to do with the Eastern Shore, Accomac and Northampton Counties. I am now trying men for murder committed there. I could obtain a large number of recruits for my colored troops from there had I authority. Please either annex these counties this department or give me leave to send a recruiting party there if judged best for the service.
BENJ. F. BUTLER,
WAR DEPARTMENT, December 15, 1863-4.20 p.m.
Major General BENJAMIN F. BUTLER,
Commanding, &c., Fort Monroe:
I am directed by the Secretary of War to say, in reply to your telegram of yesterday in relation to the annexation of the Eastern Shore of Virginia, Accomac and Northampton Counties, to your department, that until the question in respect to the command of the Middle Department is determined, it is not deemed expedient to make any change in the department boundaries, and that Colonel Birney is authorized to recruit colored troops in that region, so as to render it unnecessary to send recruiting parties there from your department.
ED. R. S. CANBY,
Brigadier General, and Assistant Adjutant-General.