War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0614 NORTH CAROLINA AND S. E. VIRGINIA. Chapter XXX.

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SUFFOLK, VA., April 15, 1863-9 a. m.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief:

On Monday, with the aid of the gunboats, I was enabled to hold the line of the Nansemond, and things looked well, as I advised you, but yesterday 10,000 or 11,000 attacked the line of the river some miles down, and, with the aid of earthworks thrown up, cut off the water communication. All the gunboats except one were crippled and cut off many miles below. The enemy attempted to cross during the night but has not succeeded yet. I hope to hold him, although the river, by the curves, is some 12 miles in length before you reach the wide water, with an average width of 100 feet. At daylight I opened the Jericho Canal into the river and hope to fill up the marshes so as to impede their operations. A few troops at this time will make all secure. A large force in reserve is necessary, say 10,000, to take the initiative. If General Hill co-operates, more will be necessary. Prisoners state Washington has been taken.

JOHN J. PECK,

Major-General.

FORT MONROE, April 15, 1863.

Major-General PECK:

Troops are on their way to relieve you. Shall I order them to Bowers' Hill as fast as they arrive? Some must be here to-night unless the storm prevents.

JOHN A. DIX,

Major-General.

SUFFOLK, VA., April 15, [1863].

General DIX:

Hurry the troops here that first arrive, so that I can have enough to hold the river. All routes should be put in requisition. A day may be decisive. When their spies signal from Norfolk their arrived I fear they will attack.

JOHN J. PECK,

Major-General.

SUFFOLK, VA., April 15, [1863].

Brigadier-General VIELE,

Norfolk:

It is just reported that the enemy, force and character unknown, have crossed at Sleepy Hole in spite of our gunboats. His attempt to cross in the narrow part of the river was defeated and his battery opposite silenced.

JOHN J. PECK,

Major-General.

FORT MONROE, April 15, 1863.

Major-General PECK,

Commanding, Suffolk:

If the report be true would it not be inexpedient to carry out the suggestion in your last dispatch?

JOHN A. DIX,

Major-General.