War of the Rebellion: Serial 014 Page 0043 Chapter XXIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC, - UNION.

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ment that the steamship Vanderbilt has been given to the Government and accepted by the President, and assigned to special duty to guard the transports in the service of this Department and to aid in the destruction of the Merrimac. I am waiting for intelligence from you of the arrival of the Vanderbilt, as requested in my telegram, and feared something had delayed her, but Mr. Vanderbilt informs me she arrived on Sunday. i hope that you may find much advantage in the use of the Vanderbilt.

I have also detailed the Metamora, the fastest vessel that could be chartered, to run as a packet between the fortress and Cherrystone Point and guard the telegraphic cable. You will please give such orders as you may deem proper for that purpose.

I have placed the Metamora at the disposal of Mr. Vanderbilt while he is at Fortress Monroe.

Yours, truly,


Secretary of War.


Washington, D. C., March 27, 1862.

Major General JOHN E. WOOL:

GENERAL: Mr. Scott, Assistant Secretary, has just arrived, and brings me your note of the 24th,* stating that you had turned the Vanderbilt over to Flag-Officer Goldsborough. This disposition of the Vanderbilt was not contemplated by my instructions to you nor designed as the mode of employing that vessel. She belongs to the War Department, and is to act exclusively under its orders.

You will therefore take measures to have her placed immediately under command of this Department and relieved from duty under Flag-Officer Goldsborough.

Yours, truly,


Secretary of War.

SEMINARY, VA., March 28, 1862-11.45 a. m.

Brigadier General S. P. HEINTZELMAN, Fort Monroe:

Your telegram of yesterday morning received only last night. I hope the movement on Big Bethel was well considered, in view of my wish not to prematurely develop our plans to the enemy. It the destruction of their battery and your subsequent return confirms the idea that we are after Norfolk all is well except the fact of falling back. If this reaches you in time it would be well to hold the position of Big Bethel if its reoccupation by the enemy can give us any trouble. You on the ground can best judge of this.


SEMINARY, March 28-12.15 a. m.

General E. V. SUMNER,

Commanding Second Corps, Warrenton Junction:

I am much surprised that I have not heard one word from you to


*Not found.