War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0032 OPERATIONS IN SOUTHEASTERN VIRGINIA. Chapter XIX.

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NEW YORK CITY, March 15, 1862.

Honorable E. M. STANTON:

Mr. Vanderbilt desires me to say he can make no satisfactory reply to the inquiry made of him, but will be in Washington on Monday next to confer with the DepartmenT.


WASHINGTON, March 15, 1862.

Major General GEORGE B. McCLELLAN, Seminary:

In reply to your dispatch to this Department of yesterday [13th], which was transmitted to the Secretary of the Navy, he replies as follows:

NAVY DEPARTMENT, March 14, 1862.

Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

SIR: Yours, inclosing the dispatch of Major-General McClellan, suggesting 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 sent up, as soon as his present operations are completed," has been received. If a movement is to be made upon Norfolk-always a favorite measure of this Department-instant measures will be taken to advise and strengthen Flag-Officer Goldsborough, but unless such be the case, I should be extremely reluctant to take any measure that would even temporarily weaken the efficacy of the blockade, especially at the points under the command of Flag-Officer DuPont. The importance of capturing Norfolk is, I know, deemed almost indispensable by Flag-Officer Goldsborough, who will be happy to co-operate in a movement in that direction, and will, I need not assure you, have the active and earnest efforts of this Department to aid him with all the force that be place at his disposal.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,


The foregoing letter was received late last night.


Secretary of War.


YORKTOWN, January 10, 1862.


DEAR SIR: I understand that my lines of defense are under discussion at Richmond. I know I can expect from you the justice to postpone any decision until I can report at length, which will be in a few days. In the mean time I will venture that I have taken not only the best but the only way of successfully defending this Peninsula with the means at my disposal, and that its defense will be successful. I did not call out the militia, thought at one time I had determined to do so, but nearly requested to be furnished with the strength of certain regiments, to prepare arms for them, which arms I could procure from the colonels of regiments belonging, as they informed me, to their States. I only desired to prepare for the emergency of a landing in this Peninsula or on the Rappahannock, which I know thing more probable, or for an attack on James River. These arrangements required time. I therefore anticipated the emergency. Colonel Randolph informed