Your reference to what you term Longstreet's "present campaign," as occasioned by his reoccupation over two months since without interruption of Fort Powhatan, thus "establishing most firmly his left flank on James River," is scarcely intelligible. Fort Powhatan is 50 miles in an air line from Suffolk, whilst the enemy have been permitted to occupy for the last half year the line of the Blackwater immediately in front of Suffolk and less than half way in the general direction of Fort Powhatan. Of course it was easy enough for them to reoccupy their fort in their rear.
It may instruct you to know that as soon as I learned from Colonel Ludlow that the enemy had reoccupied and was strengthening Fort Powhatan, a military act performed within the military lines of this military department, without waiting for General Dix to ask me for naval co-operation I promptly called on and conferred with him on the subject, and received his assurance that he could not act, as the enemy was on the Blackwater in greater strength than he had. It was obvious from the failure from want of military co-operation in the attack on Fort Darling, with an iron-clad and gunboat force quite equal to that at my command, that I could not without military co-operation prevent the enemy from holding and extending a fort on his river front when he held in force undisputed military possession of the country around it.
S. P. LEE,
Act. Rear-Admiral, Commanding N. Atlantic Blockading Squadron.
YORKTOWN, VA., May 7, 1863.
(Received 8.55 a. m.)
Major General H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief:
I am on my way to West Point, where all the troops must have arrived with the exception of a battery which has been delayed for transportation and which will be there before night. They would have gone up last night but for the weather, which was too rough for some of the small transports. General Keyes and General Gordon are with them. I ordered the small cavalry force with the expedition to be sent, as soon as landed, to the White House to try and destroy the railroad bridge. Colonel Davis, who led the cavalry raid to the neighborhood of Richmond, arrived at Gloucester Point yesterday. Generals Jenkins, Davis, and Wilcox are on the Blackwater, with their headquarters at Franklin. We have not yet heard what force is at Zuni and Ivor, but hope to learn to-day. None of Longstreet's force could well have been at Fredericksburg on Sunday. It may be now, but if so, by forced marches, the railroad communication having been broken.
JOHN A. DIX,
UNITED STATES FLAG-SHIP MINNESOTA,
Off Newport News, May 7, 1863.
Major General JOHN A. DIX, U. S. A.,
Commanding Seventh Army Corps, Fort Monroe, Va.:
GENERAL: I have directed Lieutenant-Commander Gillis to detail the United States steamers Morse and Mystic to give all possible assistance in respect to your proposed occupation of West Point.
Very respectfully, yours,
S. P. LEE,