FORT MONROE, March 22, 1 863.
My man has been and has gone to Baltimore. He says there are 28,000 men between New London* and the New York.* When they find the Ninth Army Corps withdrawn from Newport News they may reduce their force.
JOHN A. DIX,
HDQRS. FORTY-FOURTH Regiment MASS. VOL. MILITIA.,
Washington, N. C., March 23, 1863.
COLONEL: On Saturday Lieutenant-Colonel Lyman notified me that he had received intelligence from what he considered "good authority" that the enemy had "moved away from our front"; that a large force was 10 miles from us last Monday, but had disappeared.
Of course that may or may not be correct, but I should judge by all we can learn than it is true. Yesterday, Colonel Lyman learned at old Mr. Griert's that the Army of the Potomac, under Hooker, had crossed the Rappahannock; but we can get no papers, as the rebels allow no one to pass through their lines and no mail matter to pass out.
I would remind you that we left New Berne at two hours' notice and with no idea of a longer stay than ten days' rations implied. You told me that you should probably send a boat up to bring us back on Sunday, the 22nd. We not only had no time to pack up or property which we left behind, but we brought nothing but a spare under-suit and the men not even that, as they were ordered to take only blankets. In this condition we are extremely uncomfortable, and the men will soon become sick on account of unavoidable filth. I would therefore venture to suggest that to avoid sickness the regiment should be recalled whenever it may be thought that this place is safe from attack.
I am, your obedient servant,
FRANCIS L. LEE,
Colonel, Commanding Post.
I send by this boat the men detailed for the census business.
SPECIAL ORDERS, HDQRS. OF THE ARMY, ADJT. GEN'S OFFICE, Numbers 136.
Washington March 23, 1863.
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II. Brigadier General E. L. Viele, United States Volunteers, is hereby relieved from duty in the Department of Virginia, and will report in person without delay to Major General D. Hunter, United States Volunteers, commanding Department of the South, for duty.
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By command of Major-General Halleck: