erty belongs to persons within our lines, and as the military commander here I claim the right to clear vessels to any port in a loyal State, subject to the usual custom-house inspection. I respectfully ask if you consider this post as blockaded, and if not I will thank you to furnish me with a copy of the instructions under which the detention is made that I may make a proper representation to the Government.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN A. DIX,
UNITED STATES FLAG-SHIP MINNESOTA,
Off Newport News, Va., October 18, 1862.
Major General JOHN A. DIX, U. S. A.,
Commanding Seventh Army Corps, Fortress Monroe, Va.:
GENERAL: Lieutenant-Commander Babcock, commanding guard vessel below Norfolk, reports that he has, under his instructions, detained the schooner Elizabeth English, as, excepting her enrollment and license, she had only a bill of lading, showing that she contained 330 tons of coal purporting to be shipped by the United States War Department at Philadelphia on the 2nd instant, and signed David English, who or whose office is not known here.
The master of the army tug which was towing the schooner up informed the commanding officer of the guard vessel that he asked the assistant quartermaster and provost-marshal at Fortress Monroe for the usual certificates (viz, that the vessel is in the employ of the army and has only supplies for the army on board), and that they told him he did not want any such a certificate and should not have any.
If the Elizabeth English is in the employment of the army, and has supplies for the army only on board, I will thank you to have the usual and proper certificate to that effect sent to Lieutenant-Commander Babcock for me. If she is not in the employment of the army, and her cargo is not exclusively for the use of the army, you would oblige me by letting me know it. I beg to observe that no inconvenience will be experienced by your department if the usual and proper certificate is always sent with the vessel having army supplies on board.
The commanding officer of the guard vessel below Norfolk also reports to me that he has vainly endeavored to obtain from some of the steam-tugs passing to and for between Fortress Monroe and Norfolk such a certificate as would show that they are in the employment of the army and are only so employed. This was according to the understanding between us, as shown by my communication to you of September 18 and your reply of September 19. I respectfully request that you will now favor me with a list of the names of all the steam-tugs in the employment of the army plying between Fort Monroe and Norfolk, so that when once known to the guard vessel in the Elizabeth River there may be no difficulty about their passing afterward without stopping, provided they are not towing vessels, especially such as are not in the employment of the army and whose cargoes are not duly certified.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, yours,
S. P. LEE,
Actg. Rear-Admiral Commanding N. Atlantic Blocking Squadron.
P. S. - The commanding officer of the gunboat Wyandotte, on guard duty off Fort Monroe, reports that he yesterday detained the schooner