War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0544 NORTH CAROLINA AND S. E. VIRGINIA. Chapter XXX.

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be another thing. The enemy must pass via South Mills. The bridges being destroyed, a small redoubt with a regiment and some artillery would bar up the approach.

The only inducement for a cavalry movement by that line world arise from combined operations against Suffolk, at least in the first instance.




Newport News, Va., February 21, 1863.

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

Commanding Seventh Army Corps, Fortress Monroe:

GENERAL: I have received your communication of February 20.

Have directed that the guard vessel off Fort Monroe and Norfolk shall have a red light hoisted between sunset and sunrise. When I wrote you about the flag-of-truce boat I had considered what you now suggest about a signal. The objection to that is this: Any signal will be quickly understood through informers, and may be badly abused by the enemy. If the exchanged prisoners pass the night of their arrival at Old Point on board the steamer the inconvenience would probably be the same in the flag-of-truce boat should leave City Point at such an hour as would admit of her passing the blockade at daylight.

If this, which appears to me to be quite practicable, cannot be carried out, I will on hearing from you instruct the fleet captain to arrange variable signals with the flag-of-truce boat and the picket vessels.

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

S. P. LEE,

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


Fort Monroe, Va., February 23, 1863.

Actg. Rear-Admiral S. P. LEE,

Commanding North Atlantic Blockading Squadron:

ADMIRAL: I have the honor to inclose a letter from Captain Edgar, of the steamer Thomas A. Morgan, the mail boat between this post and Yorktown, setting forth a forcible intrusion into his vessel by Lieutenant Blake, commanding officer of the Mahaska, the guard vessel at Yorktown, and the arrest of Mr. John E. Wilson, his clerk, who was taken on board the said vessel and kept in irons from 4 o'clock in the afternoon to 10 o'clock the next day. I have examined Mr. Wilson and a witness who saw a part of the transaction for which the former was arrested, and their testimony shows that the pilot testimony shows that the pilot, Mr. Green, had a quarrel with Mr. Wilson of a private nature, resulting in blows; and from all the facts I think there is no doubt that Mr. Green was the aggressor.

But whatever the merits of the case may be, the act of Lieutenant Blake in stopping the mail steamer in the service of the army and taking one of her officers out of her by force, instead of bringing the case before me, was an outrage which I do not doubt you will call on him promptly to redress.