War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0442 NORTH CAROLINA AND S. E. VIRGINIA. Chapter XXX.

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from the shore. I have examined the man myself, and am satisfied from his statement that it was an act of mere carelessness, and that it did not occur to him that any one on board of the gunboat would be in danger. Indeed he says, what I have no doubt is true, that he was not thinking of the gunboat at all. The occurrence is very much regretted by Colonel Alford and myself, and, as you will perceive, the guilty party had been imprisoned for trial by court-martial before any attention had been called to the transaction.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX,

Major-General.

UNITED STATES FLAG-STEAMER PHILADELPHIA,

Hampton Roads, October 27, 1862 - 8 p. m.

Major General JOHN A. DIX, U. S. A.,

Commanding Seventh Army Corps, Fortress Monroe, Va.:

GENERAL: I beg leave to refer you to the dispatch of this date from General Lockwood at Drummondtown, just received through your telegraphic office.

The Coast Survey chart does not show that a gunboat can approach Drummondtown, which the general map shows is situated about halfway between the bay and sea-coast. I will cheerfully send a gunboat, if it can get where the Belvidere is, for moral effect and to accompany such a detachment of troops as you may deem it proper to send to the assistance of General Lockwood, but I shall need instructions from Washington, which you or General Wool may solicit, to justify the use of naval force, the necessity of which I think may be obviated by such military measures as you have the ready means of taking.

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, yours,

S. P. LEE,

Actg. Rear-Admiral, Commanding N. Atlantic Blockading Squadron.

NAVY DEPARTMENT,

October 27, 1862.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to inclose herewith an extract from a dispatch, dated the 24th instant, received from Actg. Rear-Admiral S. P. Lee, commanding the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, in which he ventures to express his views in favor of abandoning Yorktown and Norfolk.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,

GIDEON WELLES,

Secretary of the Navy.

[Inclosure.]

UNITED STATES FLAG-STEAMER PHILADELPHIA,

Chesapeake Bay, October 24, 1862.

Honorable GIDEON WELLES,

Secretary of the Navy, Washington, D. C.:

SIR: * * * We occupy this unimportant and untenable position (Yorktown) at considerable expense. I am confirmed in my former belief that our best course would be to abandon this position after destroying all the military works at and near Yorktown, whether erected