War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0264 NORTH CAROLINA AND S. E. VIRGINIA. Chapter XXX.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA,

Fort Monroe, April 11, 1863.

Brigadier-General KING, Yorktown:

I have directed a stern-wheel steamer for West to be sent up if one can be had.

If West does not waste his ammunition he ought to do five times as much damage to the enemy as he receives. I cannot understand how the 500 got below Fort Magruder. Did they cross the James River?

Do all you can to supply West and to encourage him and his men to fight.

E. D. KEYES,

Major-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA,

Fort Monroe, April 11, 1863.

Brigadier-General KING, Yorktown:

Order Colonel West to cease firing of Williamsburg unless he knows the enemy are present there in arms. He will waste his ammunition That town must he held as a shield, and it must not be destroyed except in accordance with my orders.

E. D. KEYES,

Major-General.

[APRIL 12, 1863.]

Brigadier-General KING:

The line of defense of Fort Magruder ought not to be given up lightly. You ought not bring away anything from Gloucester Point. You may, however, use your discretion about sending another regiment of infantry toward Willamsburg.

E. D. KEYES,

Major-General.

YORKTOWN, April 12, 1863-9 a. m.

Colonel West telegraphs that all is quiet as yet at the front; that the enemy are in large on the other side of the town. He recommends abandoning the town and establishing his pickets on this side, as his force is not strong enough to guard the Peninsula. We have taken 10 prisoners, one of them an officer, who corroborates the rumor of yesterday that Wise issued orders to take forts at all hazards.

RUFUS KING,

Brigadier-General.

Major-General KEYES, Fort Monroe.

YORKTOWN, April 12, 1863-11.35 a. m.

Major Chamberlain, who has just come in from Fort Magruder, brings me a verbal communication from Colonel West to the effect that he thinks his position insecure and the line too extended to be successfully defended. From prisoners and deserters he learns that Wise, who is in command of the enemy's force, has 4,000 infantry, 500 or 600 cavalry and 6 or 8 pieces of artillery; that his orders from Richmond are to