May 17, 1864.
Respectfully referred to Major-General Halleck, chief of staff.
E. D. TOWNSEND,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
New Berne, May 10, 1864.
Colonel J. JOURDAN,
Commanding Sub-District of Beaufort, N. C.:
COLONEL: Now that the pressure upon us appears to be over I wish to make as soon as possible some few changes in the disposition of the troops. I wish to get all the North Carolina troops to your district. The First Regiment of them has some 600 men in the eight companies (including the cavalry company), and they are drilled as artillerists. They will be effective I think if they are placed with you, where they imagine they are safe at all times from capture. Colonel McChesney will see that the families of his regiment are made comfortable, and when they get once settled he is perfectly confident that they will be as staunch as any men we have. The matter of Croatan Station will be attended to at once; the old station will no longer be kept up, and whatever force we keep near there will be attached to this sub-district.
As soon as possible I shall have a battery (light) of at least four pieces for you, and in exchange for the force sent you I shall probably wish you to send here only the companies of the Second Massachusetts and Fifth Rhode Island Artillery. The matter of the commander of Fort Macon will be a matter for after consideration. It is my opinion, however, that Colonel Frankle will come here, as he had better be with his own regiment. It is currently reported here that a few days since, when the rebels were in front of us here, an order was given at Newport Barracks to have everything ready to leave that place. I can hardly credit this report, for the commanding officer at that place could surely not have intended to leave without a fight. Captain Fuller is said, I think, to have made the statement, which perhaps it would be well to inquire into. Nothing indicates that a very stubborn resistance was made at Croatan. I hear of no one being killed or injured there, and the capture of the post seems to have been so easily made that none of the deserters who came in seem to know anything about it. However, we may learn something different in time. If you still think North Carolinians in the way and of no use, I shall order them to Norfolk. I think, however, that the presence of the other regiments will give them confidence, and that you will conclude that they are reliable.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
I. N. PALMER,
HDQRS. DIST. OF NORTH CAROLINA, Numbers 15.
New Berne, N. C., May 10, 1864.
I. The First North Carolina (Union) Volunteers (excepting the two companies at Hatters Inlet) will proceed immediately to Morehead