War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0028 OPERATIONS IN SOUTHEAST VIRGINIA. Chapter XIX.

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twenty-three in all. Do you want more? If so, notify Colonel Rucker by telegraph and also me.

M. C. MEIGS,

Quartermaster-General.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

March 13, 1862-5.20 p. m.

Captain DAHLGREN:

I order yesterday nine barges, and some men to load them, sent down. Does Captain Wyman need more yet? I believe in precaution. I would not trust this city and the fleet you see coming into the river to the strength of a single screw-bolt in the Monitor's new machinery. If one breaks, the Merrimac beats her. The Merrimac, too, is reported able to outrun, neglect her, and pass her.

M. C. MEIGS,

Quartermaster-General.

MARCH 13, 1862-6 P. M.

Brigadier-General MEIGS,

Quartermaster-General:

I have your two telegrams. Captain Wyman writes me that he has places eight barges on the Kettle Bottoms, eight off Smith's Point, and seven of Mattawoman. He thinks there should be four or six more on Mattawoman, and asks for them, with their anchors.

if it is desired to put the matter beyond doubt, then it will be better to let the two frigates at the mouth of the Potomac enter and proceed to the Kettle Bottoms or Smith's Point, anchor, and prepare to sink them as soon as the Merrimac reaches the Potomac. She cannot get by them. The telegraph at Fort Monroe should give twelve hours' notice; and it would be well to send a fast vessel, like the Metamora, to the mouth of the Potomac to observe and to convey intelligence.

JNO. A. DAHLGREN.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

Fairfax Court-House, March 13, 1862. (Received 9.40 p. m.)

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

I would respectfully suggest that the Secretary of the Navy be requested to order to Fort Monroe whatever force DuPont can now spare, as well as any available force that Goldsborough can send up, as soon as his present operations are completed.

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,

Major-General.

NAVY DEPARTMENT, March 13, 1862.

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to suggest that this Department can easily obstruct the channel to Norfolk so as to prevent the exit of the Merrimac, provided the Army will carry the Sewell's Point Batteries, in which duty the Navy will give great assistance.

Very respectfully,

GIDEON WELLES.