War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0624 NORTH CAROLINA AND S. E. VIRGINIA. Chapter XXX.

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course have been in regard to co-operation of the forces on the Blackwater and of North Carolina, and from the presence of a Virginia brigade and the one regiment recently arrived from the Blackwater I believe the feint to be on the Blackwater and the real attack to be here. These facts are submitted for your consideration.

J. G. FOSTER,

Major-General, Commanding.

FORT MONROE, April 17, 1863.

Major-General HALLECK:

Is any general officer to come with the troops?

JOHN A. DIX,

Major-General.

WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, April 17, 1863-12 noon.

Major-General DIX,

Fort Monroe, Va.:

You already have a larger proportion of general officers than we have here; nevertheless, if possible, I will send you another. Whether 4,000 more troops can be sent to you will depend upon the condition of affairs when the transports return. In any forward operations by you against the enemy, is not West Point the proper point? I will write you more fully by mail.

H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief.

WASHINGTON, D. C., April 17, 1863.

Major-General DIX,

Fort Monroe, Va.:

GENERAL: If the enemy has given up his attempt upon Suffolk and Norfolk it is probably on account of a movement of General Hooker. I think that Lee's main army will be massed between Richmond and the Rappahannock. This would of course give you an opportunity to operate in the direction of Hicks' Ford or Weldon, to destroy the railroads connecting with the South. But would that be a safe operation? Moreover, would it not be contrary to principle? The enemy would be between you and Hooker's army ready to strike at either. Would he not in this central position have the same advantage over you and Hooker which he had last year over McClellan and Pope? It certainly seems so to me. Moreover, while you were operating south of James River might not the enemy recapture Williamsburg and Yorktown? Would it not be more in accordance with principles for you and Hooker to act as nearly together as possible and at the same time to secure your smaller force from the enemy's heavy blow? Suppose while General Hooker operates against the enemy's front you threaten his flank and rear by the Pamunkey and Mattapony in such a way as to secure your own retreat, would there not be greater chance of success? It seems to me that West Point furnishes you a most excellent base for such an operation. With the gunboats and a few heavy guns put in battery it could be made secure against greatly superior numbers. Moreover, while affording assistance to Hooker's operations it will serve as a protection to your line by Williamsburg and Yorktown. I am therefore of opinion that the moment you can safely withdraw