flag of truce. The U. S. officer not feeling authorized to accord to the proposition made to him by Lieutenant-Colonel McCormick informed him that he would refer the matter to you, and the two officers agreed to meet the next day at Price's, near Cedar Creek.
It was mutually agreed between the two officers that Lieutenant-Colonel McCormick should encamp that night beyond our picket-line, at a place known as the White House. The next day he met the U. S. officer, agreeably to appointment, at Price's, and after transacting the business on which they met, the U. S. officer informed Lieutenant-Colonel McCormick that about 7 p.m. on the day before (the 1st) a party of U. S. troops had captured two of our scouts, Privates Massey and Beckham, at Turknett's Point very near the White House. As this capture was made pending the flag of truce, and in the immediate vicinity of Lieutenant-Colonel McCormick's camp, I must suppose it was made without your authority, and was unauthorized and unjustifiable under the circumstances. I have, therefore, to request that you will cause the two men, Massey and Beckham, to be returned to Lieutenant-Colonel McCormick. I will add that in May last, whilst a flag of truce was ending on the Baldwin road, a party of our troops captured your pickets, to the eastward, on the King's road. As soon as the circumstances came to the knowledge of the C. S. officer commanding in that vicinity the men captured were promptly returned to their command within the lines of the U. S. forces. And more recently, when I was in command at Charleston, a corporal and private of the U. S. Army were captured near Port Royal under circumstances which, in my opinion, rendered the capture unjustifiable. I promptly returned them to their command without waiting for any representation of the case by the U. S. commander in that quarter.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
New Berne, N. C., February 7, 1865.
General M. C. MEIGS,
Quartermaster-General U. S. Army, Washington:
A few days since, by the breaking down of two of our small steamers and the sinking of another while on an expedition up the Chowan Rive, r I found there was not a single steamer that could be used for the ordinary work in this harbor. A small steamer called the Ulysses was lying in the harbor at Beaufort, and as we were very much in need of their I authorized her charter at the usual Government rates. This was at the time a positive necessity. The recent movements of General Sherman and the orders received form him have changed the face of matters here very much, and it is probable that our transportation of al kinds will have to be materially increased. My instructions are to prepare to forward supplies for 70,000 men and 40,000 animals. These instructions are confidential to me. In view of all this I hope you will consider it for the best interest of the service to confirm the contract with
the Ulysses, and to empower me to secure such transportation as the exigencies of the service may call for from time to time. I am obliged at such a time as this to communicate with you direct, as up to this time I have no regular communication with either General Sherman or General Foster. A railroad construction party of 1,200 men,