War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0642 NORTH CAROLINA AND S. E. VIRGINIA. Chapter XXX.

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[FORTRESS MONROE,] April 21, [1863.]

Actg. Rear-Admiral S. P. LEE,

Commanding North Atlantic Blockading Squadron:

I returned from Suffolk late last evening. Lieutenant Lamson having informed General Peck that you had ordered him to leave the Upper Nansemond with his gunboats, General Getty was directed to abandon the left bank, where we had captured one of the enemy's batteries, and bring away the guns. This has been done. When I left last evening the enemy was investing Suffolk as closely as ever, and there were no signs of his retiring. I regret exceedingly the withdrawal of the gunboats. If, so we have reason to believe, the enemy is very strong it will be difficult without their aid to prevent his crossing. We shall do the best we can with the two boats armed by my and manned by our troops.

JOHN A. DIX,

Major-General.

UNITED STATES FLAG-SHIP MINNESOTA, Off Newport News, Va., April 21, 1863.

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

Commanding Seventh Army Corps, Fortress Monroe, Va.:

GENERAL: I am surprised by the statement in your dispatch of this date, just received, that the captured battery on the left bank had been abandoned because "Lieutenant Lamson had informed General peck that you (I) had ordered him to leave the Upper Nansemond with his gunboats."

I inclose a copy of Lieutenant Lamson's report, showing that this is a mistake.

My letter of yesterday's date of General Peck (a copy of which is inclosed), written last night (but not sent to or forwarded by Lieutenant Lamson until this morning, after the battery was evacuated), affords no justification for the previous abandonment of the captured battery, which commanded the communications. As long as it was held our boats could pass above or below as it might be necessary. The responsibility of abandoning this position rests on other shoulders than mine. You must see that the representation you make does me injustice, and is not sustained by the facts of the case.

I have the honor to be, respectfully, yours,

S. P. LEE,

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

[Inclosures.]

UNITED STATES FLAG-SHIP MINNESOTA, Newport News, Va., April 21, 1863.

Actg. Rear-Admiral S. P. LEE,

Commanding North Atlantic Blockading Squadron:

SIR: I have seen with much surprise the telegram of General Dix to yourself, in which he says that "Lieutenant Lamson having informed General Peck that you had ordered him (me) to leave the Upper Nansemond with the gunboats, General Getty was directed to abandon the left bank, where he had captured one of the enemy's batteries."

General Dix is laboring under a great mistake, for just the reverse of what he says is true. After the capture of the battery I received or