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[172] favorable opportunity to threaten and cut his lines. In December last, he marched against Kinston, and on the fourteenth defeated the enemy and captured the place. He then moved up the south side of the Neuse River to Goldsboro, burned the railroad bridge at that place, and tore up much of the railroad between the river and Mount Olive.

He captured four hundred and ninety-six prisoners and nine pieces of artillery. His loss was ninety killed, four hundred and seventy-eight wounded, and nine missing. In March, the rebel General Pettigrew, with a large force of infantry and artillery, made a demonstration on Newbern, but was forced to abandon the attempt on that place. General Foster's loss was only two killed and four 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 reinforcements arrived from Newbern, to raise the siege there. No report of the losses on either side.

An expedition sent against a rebel camp at Gum Swamp, in May, which captured one hundred and sixty-five 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 Nansemond to reenforce 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 defence of which the place was capable, and started the construction of his works, till finally, the attempt was abandoned. Our loss in these operations was forty-four killed, two hundred and two wounded, and fourteen missing. We captured four hundred prisoners and five guns during the siege.

As Suffolk possessed no advantages as a military post, and was not susceptible of a good defence, the garrison was afterwards withdrawn within the new lines constructed around Norfolk. When the rebel army was moving North, upon Maryland and Pennsylvania, General Dix sent all of his available force from Norfolk and Fortress Monroe up the York River, for the purpose of cutting off Lee's communications with Richmond and of attacking that place, which was then defended by only a handful of militia. The expedition, however, failed to accomplish a single object for which ,it had been fitted out.

The failure resulting, as it was alleged, from the inefficiency of one of the generals commanding, General Dix, therefore, ordered its return, and sent the troops of which it was composed to reinforce the army of General Meade, north of the Potomac. On the fifth of October, Brigadier-General Wistar was sent with a small force, aided by gunboats, to Matthew County, Virginia, to break up a rebel party known as the Confederate Volunteer Coast-Guard, who were engaged in smuggling goods across the Chesapeake from Maryland and the Eastern Shore. Most of these coastguards were absent at the time, but the expedition resulted in capturing one hundred and fifty boats and schooners, and eighty head of beef cattle.

The navy has given efficient aid in all the operations in this department.

Department of the South.

The withdrawal, last year, of most of our troops in South-Carolina, to reenforce General McClellan on the Peninsula, compelled the Commanding General of that department to confine himself mainly to the defence of the points which he then occupied. An attack upon Fort Sumter and Charleston had long beet in contemplation by the Navy Department, and in March last it was represented that the operations of the iron-clads and monitors would be greatly facilitated by a land force prepared to assist the attack, and to occupy any work reduced by the navy. Accordingly General Foster, with a considerable force and a large siege equipage, which had been prepared for another purpose, was sent to assist in this naval attack.

It was thought that his talents and experience as an engineer officer, and his personal knowledge of the localities and defensive works of Charleston harbor, rendered him peculiarly suited for this duty; but not proving acceptable to the Commanding General of the department, he was permitted to return to his command in the Carolina, leaving his troops and siege preparations in the Department of the South. The naval attack on Fort Sumter took place on the seventh of April; but being unsuccessful, nothing, apparently, remained to be done by the land forces. A siege of Charleston and its defences by land had never been attempted, and, therefore, was on part of the plan.

It was now represented by the Navy Department that a second attack upon Fort Sumter and Charleston was preparing, and that its success required the military occupation of Morris Island, and the establishment of land batteries on that island, to assist in the reduction of Fort Sumter.

The establishment of these batteries and the reduction of the enemy's works, Fort Wagner and Battery Gregg, being a matter of engineering skill, Brigadier-General (now Major-General) Q. A. Gillmore was selected to command the land forces engaged in these operations. In addition to being an educated and skilful military engineer, he had considerable experience in the special duties required in these operations. General Gillmore, despite the enemy's defensive works, landed his force on Morris Island on the tenth of July, and immediately commenced the slow and difficult operations of conducting the siege of Fort Wagner, and establishing batteries against Fort Sumpter.

Without, however, waiting for the reduction

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