War of the Rebellion: Serial 069 Page 0374 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter XLVIII.

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HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA,

New Berne, N. C., May 30, 1864.

Captain M. SMITH, U. S. Navy,

Senior Naval Officer, Sounds of North Carolina:

CAPTAIN: I have by no means forgotten your reasonable request for a steamer to remain with your fleet. I have delayed answering in the hope that I would soon be able to send you something that would answer your purpose. At Fort Monroe they have seized everything they could lay their hands on. The army gun-boats here are perfectly worthless at present, and the only dispatch-boat we had I was obliged to send around to Beaufort a few days since. The Rockland is now at Roanoke, and as soon as she returns she will be sent to you, unless I think we can better spare the Massasoit, now up with you. The Massasoit is the best boat, and I desire to give you the best we have. We will take off one boat each week to Roanoke and that will help a little. I have heard nothing from the Massasoit since she left here with the last supply of torpedoes and the parties who were to try to blow up the ram. I hope they may succeed, but I am doubtful. Rest assured, captain, that we will do all in our power here.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

I. N. PALMER,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA,

New Berne, N. C., May 30, 1864.

Captain B. F. SANDS, U. S. Navy, or

SENIOR NAVAL OFFICER BLOCKADING FLEET,

Off Wilmington:

CAPTAIN: A few days since I addressed you a communication, which was to have been delivered to you by Colonel Jourdan, commanding the Sub-District of Beaufort, in which I begged your co-operation in a movement to be made in the vicinity of Wilmington by the forces under my command, and which expedition was to be commanded by Colonel Jourdan. This letter, the colonel tells me, was not delivered to you, as he had no opportunity of seeing you when you were last off Beaufort. He informs me, however, that he has informed you of the intended movement, and that he supposed you were ready to give such assistance as was in your power. The force designated for this affair has been for some days waiting at Morehead, but for some cause the movement has been delayed and it will, I fear, not take place as we desired unless you will place one or two vessels at the disposition of Colonel Jourdan for the purpose of transporting troops and give us assistance in landing them.

I only ask, captain, that we may have this assistance, and if the thing should prove a success you will have everything to gain, for if Fort Fisher should be captured we could, with your assistance, hold it. If we fail you have nothing to lose. Our men can either return to the boats or they may be able to come through to this place by land. We know tolerably well the position of the enemy's force about Wilmington and the strength of it. Even if we cannot make a grand thing of it we hope to do some good by diverting some of the rebel force in Virginia and thus help the cause. I beg, therefore,