crossed the Rappahannock at Port Royal day before yesterday, and that some of their officers have crossed into Maryland in citizens' dress. I have sent cavalry in search.
A. G. DREAPER,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
New Berne, N. C., May 1, 1864.
Major R. S. DAVIS,
A. A. G., Hdqrs. Dept. of Va. and N. C., Fort Monroe, Va.:
MAJOR: Colonel McChesney, of the First North Carolina (Union) Volunteers, who was left to bring up the rear at Little Washington, has arrived here this morning. He reports that everything has been safely brought away. A deserter from the rebel force has come in this morning giving the information that General Beauregard is at Kingston; that he is assembling five brigades there for the attack on New Berne. This may be so or not; as I informed you in my letter of yesterday, we ought to hope that Beauregard's forces would be diverted from Virginia for the purpose of attacking us. I may be wrong in my estimate of our abilities, but I think we can make a successful resistance. If the contrabands and the Carolinians will any make up their mind that this in no time for save equipment, and if they will do well it will be all right. The order for the gunboat Brewster to proceed to Fort Monroe has just been received, and she will start to-day.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
I. N. PALMER,
WASHINGTON, May 2, 1864.
GENERAL: I believe all the direction in your confidential dispatch of the 29th ultimo* have been carried out, so far as possible. It is a difficult matter to get troops out of the hands of some of the Governors of States, but we are making considerable progress. The Assistant Secretary of War, Mr. Dana, has gone West with full powers to start them off, forcibly, if necessary. The fine cavalry regiments so long detained in Indiana have started for Louisville, just as they are, half mounted and half on foot. We can regulate them when we get them away from the State authorities. The Governor of Massachusetts opposes the dismounting of his half-mounted colored regiments and we cannot get their horses. I have to-day ordered the men with their horses here, where we can dismount them in spite of the Governor and send their horses to General Meade. Don't rely too on any immediate assistance from the proposed western militia force. It will take some time to raise them and get them into position, even under the strongest pressure. As fast as I can get militia regiments, I will hurry to the front the present guards at Johnson's Island, &c. A regiment front Ohio has bee ordered to relieve Sigel's troops, which are guarding the depot at Gallipolis.
* See Grant to Halleck, April 29, 1864, Vol XXXIII, p. 1017.