in my power to confine the knowledge of them to those immediately around me and my official superiors. How difficult it is to carry out such a purpose in this country of free discussion I need not suggest to you. My own public conduct in this department has in more instances than one been criticized in a most unjust and offensive manner by a - correspondent whom I knew, but as it did not affect any public interest I did not notice it although I have sent three out of the department-two for giving military information and one for interference with officials. In regard to the newspaper article referred to by you, the moment my attention was called to it (for I rarely read correspondents' letters) the reputed author was advised that he had been guilty of a great impropriety in using the words "highest authority," which was explained to be a common phrase among newspaper correspondents, importing that he statement was made on undoubted information. He was also advised that the remarks in regard to yourself were strongly disapproved by me, and on both points I was assured that there would be no cause for complaint hereafter.
The last paragraph of your letter, advising me that Lieutenant Lamson and Cushing were authorized in their discretion to go into the Upper Nansemond and co-operate with my forces there against the enemy, is all I can ask, and i know that the spirit and gallantry those officers have exhibited on all occasions will insure to us all the aid it is possible to afford.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN A. DIX,
SPECIAL ORDERS, Numbers 200.
HDQRS. OF THE ARMY, ADJT. General 'S OFFICE,
Washington, May 2, 1863.
* * * * * *
III. Brigadier General Isaac J. Wistar, U. S. Volunteers, will report to Major-General Dix, commanding, &c., Fort Monroe, Va., for assignment to duty at Suffolk, Va.
By command of Major-General Halleck:
E. D. TOWNSEND,
FORT MONROE, VA., May 3, 1863-8 p. m.
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
I have just returned from Suffolk. General Getty crossed the Nansemond, near General Peck's headquarters, to-day, with 5,000 men. He was in front of the enemy's intrenchments, 2 miles back. A strong demonstration will be made on the enemy's right flank to-morrow morning. In the action in front of our center the day before yesterday we lost 7 killed and 20 wounded. The enemy acknowledge 33 killed and a large number wounded. We cannot ascertain and do not think any of his troops have been withdrawn. To-morrow we shall be able to judge better of his strength.
JOHN A. DIX,