rimac has reached Alexandria. I cannot hold Williamsburg with 500 cavalry. I have kept them there the last four days with the hope that they might to something to retrieve the character of the regiment. I will withdraw them to Yorktown. In abandoning Williamsburg we leave to the mercy of the insurgents some good Union men, whom we indicted, by assurances of protection, to come out for us. I fear I shall get no troops here unless you send them direct from the North to report to me.
JOHN A. DIX,
UNITED STATES FLAG-SHIP MINNESOTA,
Norfolk, Va., September 12, 1862.
Major General JOHN A. DIX, U. S. A.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to inform you that in order to strengthen our position at Yorktown I have diverted the gunboat Valley City, now undergoing repairs at Fortress Monroe, from her intended destination on the blockade off Wilmington, where her services are much needed, and to-morrow, when her repairs will probably be finished, she will proceed to assist the United States gunboat Chocura in her present operations in York River.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. P. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS SEVENTH ARMY CORPS,
Fort Monroe, Va., September 12, 1862.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: The contraband negroes who have been permitted to collect in great numbers at this fort and in this vicinity have always been and are now a very great source of embarrassment to the troops in this garrison and in the camps hereabouts and to the white population in this neighborhood. In case the fort should be invested or approached by the enemy's force I should feel obliged to ship them all to the North.
This disposition, it seems to me, ought to be made of them without needless delay, and, if possible, with the concurrence of the authorities of the State or States to which they may be sent. To this end I respectfully ask permission and authority from the War Department to communicate and make arrangements with the Governors of Massachusetts and other Northern States with a view to the transfer to those States of all colored men, women, and children now under the superintendence of Mr. C. B. Wilder, at Old Comfort and its vicinity, amounting to about 2,000.
I have the honor to be, with great respect, yours,
JOHN A. DIX,
YORKTOWN, VA., September 12, 1862.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
Having been placed in charge of the engineering operations at this