NAVY DEPARTMENT, March 13, 1862.
Major General GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN, Fairfax Court-House:
The Monitor is more than a match for the Merrimac, but she might be disabled in the next encounter. I cannot advise so great dependence upon her. Burnside and Goldsborough are very strong for the Chowan River route to Norfolk, and I brought up maps, explanations, & c., to show you. It turns everything, and is only 27 miles to Norfolk by two good roads. Burnside will have New Berne this week. The Monitor may, and I think will, destroy the Merrimac in the next fight, but this is hope, not certainty. The Merrimac must dock for repairs.
G. V. FOX.
FORT MONROE, VA., March 13, 1862.
Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:
Major-General McClellan desires by telegraph to know if the channel between Sewell's Point and Craney Island could be blockated. I reply that it would be impracticable without first taking the battery of thirty guns on Sewell's Point and then sink twenty boats loaded with stone, exposed, however, to a fire of thirty guns on Craney Island. Flag-Officer Goldsborough agrees with me in this opinion. To take the batteries it would require the Monitor. Neither of us think it would do to use the Monitor for that service, lest she should become crippled. She is our only hope against the Merrimac.
JOHN E. WOOL,
MARCH 13, 1862.
Brigadier General R. B. MARCY:
General Sickles informs me this morning that the cars were running from Aquia last night. Captain Magaw states that he is informed that the rebels are fortifying Fredericksburg, and that they are evacuating Aquia. The Freeborn was off Aquia yesterday within easy range, and no shots fired.
Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
BUDD'S FERRY, March 13, 1862.
Every appearance indicates that the rebels will not retire immediately from Aquia. The bridge across the Potomac is not essential in case a movement should be made on Fredericksburg. Without running stock the railroad would be of no use. In that event our boat landing will be near Fouke's. Of course the rebels will destroy bridges and everything else as they advance.
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