War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0595 Chapter XXX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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UNITED STATES FLAG-SHIP MINNESOTA,

Newport News, April 10, 1863.

Major-General PECK,

Commanding at Suffolk, Va.:

SIR: Herewith I respectfully return to you a permit given from your headquarters, December 29, to Edward Bust, to carry oysters in his sloop Jacob Marten to Suffolk, subject to the regulations of the naval authorities.

Edward Bust, with his sailing sloop and a large boat, was found in the Lower Nansemond day before yesterday morning by the picket boat Alert and brought on board this ship. As that region is infested by smugglers and rebel mail carriers I have found it necessary not only to prohibit the gathering of oysters in the Nansemond but to allow no boats there day or night where such illicit operations can be carried on, and to instruct the guard vessels to recognize no oyster permits after May 1 and until then only in open boats.

Edward Bust was sent back to the guard vessel to be released with his boats, with a warning in accordance with the above.

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

S. P. LEE,

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

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, April 11, 1863-11.24 a. m.

Major-General KEYES, Fort Monroe, Va.:

Your position should not be so weakened as to endanger its security. If you find the enemy in your front too strong to permit you to re-enforce General Foster you are right in not doing so; but you should not act upon mere rumors, which are always gotten up to influence the movements of troops on such occasions. Means should be taken to ascertain beyond doubt the strength of the enemy before you. You remember Napoleon's maxim, that no general should be ignorant of the strength and position of his enemy.

H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief.

FORT MONROE, VA.,

April 11, 1863-12 noon.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief:

Your telegram just received. My front is so extensive, the enemy are so busy, and the calls for assistance so general that I have not had time to examine Peck's position carefully. I have to rely on his and Viele's opinions to some extent more than my own. There is no doubt the enemy are pushing us all along from North Carolina to York River. As soon as I can look around I shall feel certain, and I will give no timid counsels. Our troops below Williamsburg were attacked by a large force this morning-4,000, 5,000, or 6,000. They have got below Fort Magruder and cut off communication with Colonel West, who has the One hundred and thirty-ninth New York Volunteers, Fifth Pennsylvania Cavalry, and one battery of field artillery. This moment they telegraph that Fort Magruder is safe and the enemy are retreating.