HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,
Washington, D. C., November 15, 1863.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: In compliance with your orders I submit the following summary of military operations since my last annual report:*
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DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA.
Our force in North Carolina during the past year has been too small for any important operations against the enemy, and consequently has acted mostly on the defensive, holding the important positions previously captured from the rebels. Nevertheless, General Foster has given much annoyance to the enemy, and taken every favorable opportunity to threaten and cut his lines.
In December last he marched against Kinston, and on the 14th defeated the enemy and captured that place. He then moved up the south side of the Neuse River to Goldsborough, burned the railroad bridge at that place, and tore up much of the railroad between the river and Mount Olive. He captured 496 prisoners and 9 pieces of artillery. His loss was 90 killed, 478 wounded, and 9 missing.+
In March the rebel General Pettigrew, with a large force of infantry and artillery, made demonstrations on New Berne, but was forced to abandon the attempt upon that place. General Foster's loss was only 2 killed and 4 wounded.
In April General Hill laid siege to Washington, on Tar River. The place had only a small garrison and was but slightly fortified. General Foster, however, immediately directed all his energies to strengthen the works, so as to resist any assault, till re- enforcements arrived from New Berne to raise the siege. There is no report of the losses on either side.
An expedition sent against a rebel camp at Gum Swamp, in May, which captured 165 prisoners and military stores, and another in July against Rocky Mount, on Tar River, which destroyed the bridge at that place and a large amount of rebel property, terminate the military operations in that State to the present time.
On being compelled to abandon his attempt upon Washington, the rebel General Hill marched toward the Nansemond to re-enforce Longstreet, who was investing Suffolk. Failing in his direct assaults upon this place, the enemy proceeded to establish batteries for its reduction. General Peck made every preparation for defense of which the place was capable, and by vigorous and well-timed sorties kept the enemy at a distance, and retarded the construction of his works, till finally the attempt was abandoned. Our loss in these operations was 44 killed, 202 wounded, and 14 missing.# We captured 400 prisoners and 5 guns during the siege.
* Only such portions of this report as are not already published in Series I are here printed. The omitted sections will be found in that series, as follows: Vol. XXI, p. 46; XXII, Part I, p. 9; XXIII, Part I, p. 6; XXIV, Part I, p. 4; XXV, Part I, p. 155; XXVI, Part I, p. 3; XXVII, Part I, p. 14; XXVIII, Part I, p. 2; XXIX, Part I, p. 7; XXX, Part I, p. 33; XXX, Part III, p. 545; XXXI, Part II, p. 11. A section relating to prisoners of war is in Series II, Vol. VI, p. 523.
+ But see revised table, Series I, Vol. XVIII, p. 60.
# But see revised table, ibid., p. 288.