War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0650 NORTH CAROLINA AND S. E. VIRGINIA. Chapter XXX.

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doned he would push his forces down to Bethel or Hampton and shut us up in the fort. Williamsburg is only held as a picket station of Yorktown, to prevent the enemy form approaching the latter and harassing us in our intrenchments with rifled cannon and small-arms of long range. The troops in the vicinity of Williamsburg have orders to fall back on Yorktown if menaced by superior numbers.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN A. DIX,

Major-General.

SUFFOLK, April 23, 1863.

Major-General DIX:

As you well know, I have for many months performed more duties than is incident to any one army corps in the service. Now I am performing more than the commanders of two corps in the Army of the Potomac. I cannot do so longer in a proper manner without the rank and staff machinery. Please act upon this matter with the Secretary.

JOHN J. PECK,

Major-General.

SUFFOLK, VA., April 23, 1863.

Major-General DIX:

Yesterday was devoted to exploration in the Dismal Swamp. The impression was strong that, not succeeding in crossing the river, Longstreet was cutting a road through from the Edenton road. Duke states there is a ridge by which they can get through to the railway. A party is out now. In consequence of this and of the rain that demonstration was delayed. It is reported that their cars have been heard. Not satisfied of its correctness.

JOHN J. PECK,

Major-General.

SUFFOLK, April 23, 1863.

Major-General DIX:

Affairs stand as yesterday. I am employing all possible means to strengthen the river line. The boats of the Navy are below the Branch. Have sent troops into the swamp along the canal to watch the left flank. Major Stratton says the people report a force of 3,000 or 4,000 on this side the Chowan, drawing supplies from that section. He sent Mr. Hinton, of Hintonsville, in as a prisoner, a man of means and influence. Mr. Hinton says there is a force there, and that nineteen wagons with cavalry were up after forage. He says they are Hill's.

PECK,

Major-General.

OFF NEWPORT NEWS, April 23, 1863-8 a. m.

Honorable GIDEON WELLES,

Secretary of the Navy:

Lieutenant Cushing reports that yesterday afternoon with 90 men and a howitzer he went to the village of Chuckatuck, where a large cavalry force was reported to be. Encountered 40 cavalry in the village; de-