Knowing your instructions, when I found the Metamora wanted for another purpose, and when I decided to go to Washington in the City of Hudson, the Norfolk mail-boat, I sent on board the Wyandotte to advise the commander that I should pass in the last-named steamer, and that I was in haste to obey a summons from the Secretary of War. While objecting to the arrangement in my communications with you, I have nevertheless been careful not to act in contravention of it; and I now repeat, and appeal to your courtesy in making the request, that the Wyandotte may be stationed above the Baltimore Wharf, and that this fortress, the headquarters of the department, may be relieved from a system of visitation to which it was never before subjected. I should not make the request if I did not feel a perfect assurance that every public object in view could be as effectually accomplished, and that it is a matter entirely in your own discretion.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN A. DIX,
UNITED STATES FLAG-STEAMER PHILADELPHIA,
Hampton Roads, Va., November 4, 1862.
Major General JOHN A. DIX, U. S. A.,
Commanding Seventh Army Corps, Fortress Monroe, Va.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your two communications of yesterday.
The witnesses on board the Wyandotte, in the case of Private Gill, have been directed to obey the summons of the judge-advocate.
Considering your request for the removal of the Wyandotte as a virtual proposition to raise the blockade of these waters in violation of my instructions from the Navy Department, I have respectfully to inform you that I have referred your application to that Department for instructions.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, yours,
S. P. LEE,
Actg. Rear-Admiral, Commanding N. Atlantic Blockading Squadron.
November 6, 1862.
Major General JOHN A. DIX, Fort Monroe:
GENERAL: I have read your letter of the 27th [30th] ultimo, and the subject has been again considered by the President and the Cabinet. I am myself strongly inclined to adopt your views in regard to military occupation, but would not the certificate now required, or one in substance the same, be equally necessary in case that Norfolk, Princess Anne, & c., were regarded not as blockaded but as militarily occupied? At any rate for the present it is not decided to change the existing regulation. The subject is reserved for further consideration. The certificate and request mentioned in my letter will still be required as conditions for the clearances. I see no special objection, however, to substituting for the words "military purposes" the words "for the purpose of my military command," as suggested by you, in conversation, though I prefer the former phrase, which I regard as equivalent in meaning.