War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0636 NORTH CAROLINA AND S. E. VIRGINIA. Chapter XXX.

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HDQRS. DEPT. OF VIRGINIA, SEVENTH ARMY CORPS, Fort Monroe, Va., April 19, 1863.

Actg. Rear-Admiral S. P. LEE,

Commanding North Atlantic Blockading Squadron:

ADMIRAL: I have just received your letter of the 18th in regard to the withdrawal of the gunboats from the Upper Nansemond. I should very much regret such a measure at this moment. I believe there are only three of your gunboats above the West Branch, and their presence is indispensable, for although I have re-enforced General Peck there are 7 miles of river to guard and we have not troops enough to protect every part of it and prevent the enemy from crossing. I have two armed quartermasters' boats--the West End and the Smith Briggs--above the West Branch, and with your gunboats the defense of this part of the river is complete. We are establishing batteries, but for want of heavy guns they are not yet in readiness Within the next forty-eight hours I hope to have them prepared for efficient service General Peck telegraphs me that the withdrawal of the gunboats at this time would be fatal.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX,

Major-General.

FORT MONROE, VA., April 19, 1863.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief:

I have just returned from the Nansemond. Was on board of two of the gunboats which were engaged in shelling the enemy's batteries. One of the batteries was silenced this morning, but the enemy is very active, ad is casemating another with heavy timber. He has come here to stay, if possible, and will spare no effort to regain possession of the James River and the Nansemond.

JOHN A. DIX,

Major-General.

FORT MONROE, April 19, 1863.

Major-General PECK:

I sent you some Parrott guns last night; also over 100 artillerists. The latter are a part of the garrison of Fort Monroe, and should be sent back soon. I don't hear from you.

JOHN A. DIX,

Major-General.

FORT MONROE, April 19, 1863.

Major-General PECK:

Three batteries are here and will be with you to-morrow morning. You will have three rifled 42-pounders the day after to-morrow. The platforms will be made here.

JOHN A. DIX,

Major-General.