War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0611 Chapter XXX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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SUFFOLK, VA., April 14, 1863.

General VIELE,

Norfolk:

Send here at once every man you can spare.

JOHN A. DIX,

Major-General.

UNITED STATES FLAG-SHIP MINNESOTA, Off Newport News, Va., April 14, 1863-11 a. m.

Major-General PECK,

Commanding at Suffolk, Va.:

On receipt of your dispatch last night I telegraphed the Department for light-draught, rifle-screened gunboats for the Nansemond, hoping there might be some of these in the Potomac Flotilla. The Department just replies that four boats are coming, but fear they cannot go far into the Nansemond. I shall apply at the fort for Nansemond pilots for them, and send them as far as they can go.

I shall have the light-draught tug Alert, just returned disabled from the Nansemond, repaired in a few hours. I have sent for some rifle-screening, and hope to increase to-day and to-morrow the force in the river.

S. P. LEE,

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

UNITED STATES FLAG-SHIP MINNESOTA, Off Newport News, Va., April 14, 1863.

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

Commanding Seventh Army Corps, Fortress Monroe, Va.:

GENERAL: I am informed that the army transport Hunter Woodis, which can carry four or five pieces of field artillery, and have her light-draught, would be useful in the Nansemond. The transports might carry one or more field pieces with troops to fight them.

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

S. P. LEE,

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

YORKTOWN, April 14, 1863.

Actg. Rear-Admiral LEE,

Commanding North Atlantic Blockading Squadron:

General Dix is as anxious as myself to have a gunboat up James River opposite Williamsburg. I deem it absolutely necessary to save the line of Fort Magruder. If that is lost the whole Peninsula will be open to the enemy down to Fortress Monroe, and sharpshooters can render this place untenable. It would be better to lose two gunboats than to lose the Fort Magruder line. Whatever boat you send should have long-range guns, and should establish itself so as to fire by the line of the asylum tower.

E. D. KEYES,

Major-General.