War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0604 NORTH CAROLINA AND S. E. VIRGINIA. Chapter XXX.

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SUFFOLK, VA., April 13, 1863-5 p. m. (Received 6 p. m.)

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief:

I have now completed a thorough examination of Major-General Peck's position except the river, which I am now going to examine to its mouth. I have been up and down both railroads to Norfolk and made the circuit of the lines. From every source it is made certain that upward of 40,000 rebels are in front and on the flanks of this position. The easiest way for the enemy to take it is to invest and starve us out. To prevent that I shall be able to give an opinion after going down the river. As most of the enemy are from the Rappahannock my prevent impression is that two divisions of Major-General Hooker's army ought to be sent here at once.

E. D. KEYES,

Major-General, Commanding.

FORT MONROE, VA., April 13, 1863-11 p. m. (Received 14th, 12.10 a. m.)

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief:

I have this moment returned from an examination of the Nansemond River. The enemy's sharpshooters line the left bank some distance down and all the passing steamers have been pelted to-day. Our pilot-house was struck seven times. The gunboats on that river are frail, wooden structures, which the enemy's field batteries can soon cripple or burn with hot shot. He can then without much exertion cross out of range of any of our works, get upon Peck's rear, and seize the two railroads, or attack his weakest side, which is form the Seaboard Railroad to the river, and along the river when the gunboats are out of the way. Once invested, it will be next to impossible to relieve Peck, and he would in a short time be starved into a surrender. The problem is a difficult one and requires the most able attention. Pickett's, Hood's, and Pryor's (now Davis') divisions are there. Pickett's left the Rappahannock February 15 and Hood's shortly after. The Southern Army is in fine health-soldiers made by poverty and hardships--and is perfectly armed. They have about fifty pieces of artillery and some cavalry. All or nearly all the horses are in poor condition. Coming down the river has increased, but not perfected, my knowledge of Peck's situation. I will need to observe it still more to-morrow. I will write more fully.

E. D. KEYES,

Major-General, Commanding.

NORFOLK, April 13, 1863.

Admiral S. P. LEE:

Wise still threatens an attack on our forts just below Williamsburg and a gunboats on James River off College Creek would be of immense service to us. If a gunboats is not placed, Wise can be supplied by water. If you have no other boat to spare I would prefer to have that one at the mouth of the Nansemond sent up without delay, as an attack is anticipated.

E. D. KEYES,

Major-General.