Colonel Hoffman, inform me where you think the blame lies. Don't spare me. When the history of "the siege of Washington" is written, if it is a disaster, a responsibility will rest somewhere; let it go where it belongs.
Lieutenant Wheaton goes immediately to New Berne for the North State, the shovels, and wheelbarrows, &c. He takes the Phoenix. Captain Gouraud remains here to perform the duties delegated to Colonel Hoffman. I hope to be with Captain Flusser not many hours after you receive this.
Your dispatches to General Halleck and General Dix will be forwarded immediately.
I sent transportation to Gatesville on the Chowan, to be there on the 13th, to receive any forces that may be sent by General Dix. Where will you have these re-enforcements if they arrive?
If the Escort returns here she will (unless you decide differently) take a return cargo.
This is written hastily, as there are many things to occupy me to-day.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
I. N. PALMER,
The signal officer here (Lieutenant Knox) has tried to signal to you to-day. He was on a small gunboat and the motion of the vessel prevented him from seeing properly. He is now out with the Southfield and I hope he will succeed. Don't fail to make the signal arrangement as perfect as possible.
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, April 15, 1863-10.30 a. m.
Fort Monroe, Va.:
Six thousand men have been ordered to report to you at Fort Monroe. A portion embarked during the night; two gunboats have also been sent.
H. W. HALLECK,
FORT MONROE, VA., April 15, 1863-8.30 p. m.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
The enemy has not yet succeeded in crossing the Nansemond, though the pressure has been very heavy for several miles below Suffolk. The gunboats are holding a large force in check. A battery of 20-pounder rifled guns, which caused us much annoyance yesterday, was silenced to-day. The Smith Briggs, a newly-armed quartermaster's steamboat, was attacked in the river near General Peck's headquarters last night, but the assailants were driven off. Thus far the enemy has gained no advantage. He is pressing us at Williamsburg.
JOHN A. DIX,