RALEIGH, April 11, 1863.
(Received Richmond, 13th.)
Can you send General Whiting two regiments for the defense of Wilmington? He tells me his troops have all been sent to Charleston. I would suggest to First and Third North Carolina Regiments.
Z. B. VANCE.
SECRETARY OF WAR:
There is no doubt need for and additional force. As soon as practicable let it be sent.
[18.] J. D.
APRIL 19, 1863.
Assistant Adjutant-General, Petersburg:
We are thumping at Suffolk pretty heavily this morning. Regers is captured.
[18.] S. G. FRECH.
Near Suffolk, April 19, 1863-1 p. m.
Birg. General H. L. BENNING,
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your communication of 7.30 yesterday evening. By direction of the commanding general I send the following instructions for your guidance, which will take the place of all others: You will not move your main force beyond the operations of the supply trains. As it becomes necessary for the trains to move farther from Franklin in the collection of supplies, you will also move your brigade in a corresponding degree. Have cavalry reconnaissances made as far to the other side of the Dismal Swamp as may be safe with the force at your disposal. Keep parties out to observe the Chowan River to see that no force of the enemy passes up to land in rear of you, and be prepared to thorw some artillery on the banks of that river to destroy transports should the attempt the be made to land troops above you.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. M. SORREL,
[18.] Assistant Adjutant-General.
Near Suffolk, April 20, 1863-7 p. m.
Brigadier General H. L. BENNING,
Your communication of 3 a. m. to-day has been received. When you hear of the presence of such of the enemy's forces as you refer to, or of any in your vicinity, the commanding general desires you to use parties of your cavalry in close reconnaissances to ascertain with some certaintly their character, intentions, and strenght. If found to be not too fromidable, attack them at once with you whole force if necessary, and