States, with everything necessary to their comfort and with the remedial treatment they require. While exercising these offices of humanity the troops at Williamsburg have been several times attacked by your forces, not with a view to gain and hold possession of the place and to assume the guardianship which has been extended to the inhabitants and the tenants of the asylum by us, but for the purpose of harassing those who were performing this generous service. On the 32st ultimo your forces entered and endeavored to take possession of the town, occupying several houses and firing upon the troops, and in this, as I am informed, they were aided by some of the inhabitants, who have been living for nearly a year under our protection. More recently your forces entered the town and took possession of it, placing our employees in the insane asylum, under parole, carrying off some of the servant, and depriving its inmates of the care to which they have been accustomed and which their helpless condition renders indispensable. You have by withdrawing your forces left the asylum again to our charity and compelled Major-General Keyes, the commanding officer of the troops at Yorktown and Fort Magruder, to supply it with food to save the patients from starvation. These raids, under the peculiar circumstances, are in violation of every dictate of humanity. Having no result and apparently no object but annoyance and a useless sacrifice of life, they are also in violation of every principle of honorable warfare. I have directed Major-General Keyes to reoccupy the town; and that the aggressions referred to may cease I give you notice in case of any repetition of them-
1st. That the inmates of the asylum will be sent to Richmond and the United States relieved of the burden of their support;
2nd. That any house which may be taken possession of for the purpose of firing upon the troops stationed there will be razed to the ground; and,
3rd. That any citizen of Williamsburg not belonging to regularly organized corps who shall be found co-operating in these attacks and rising in arms against the occupying troops will be put to death as a violator of the laws of civilized warfare.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN A. DIX,
HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, EIGHTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Core Creek, Dover Road, April 28, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel SOUTHARD HOFFMAN,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Eighteenth Army Corps:
COLONEL: The troops of this command were all in position last night. On account of the limited number of cars it took several trips to bring everything up. Colonel Amory's brigade I sent to the railroad crossing at Core Creek. He took possession of the bridge and sent a force immediately across the creek and as far as the switch. There was nothing there.
I marched here (about 12 miles) from Colonel Jones' camp, arriving a little after midnight. I brought with me the brigade of Colonel Lee, the section of artillery, and one company of cavalry, with Colonel Jones and his regiment. Plank was brought from Colonel Jones' camp to repair the bridge here, and it was at the bridge at 1 this morning. A force was sent immediately across the creek here, which went out some distance on the road, but found nothing. This force still remains across