WASHINGTON, May 14, 1863.
Major-General DIX, Fort Monroe:
GENERAL: Your letter of the 10th is received. I fully agree with you that the line of Deep Creek is much better for the defense of Norfolk than the line of the Nansemond. Suffolk is a most ill-chosen position for defense, and is unimportant in any other respect than security of Norfolk. Why it was ever occupied I do not know.
Although fully concurring in your views I felt unwilling to approve the change without first submitting the matter to a board of able and experienced officers and afterward to the Secretary of War. All confirm your views. Before making the change the new line should be well fortified and prepared for the batteries. It should for the present be considered the second line, and the intended change kept a profound secret. The arrangements for the defense of this line should be made under the direction of your chief engineer, Major Stewart.
When abandoned, the works of Suffolk should be destroyed.
H. W. HALLECK,
FORT MONROE, May 14, 1863.
I have a dispatch from the General-in-Chief approving my suggestions as to changes I named to you. The second line and the dismantling of the railroads must be pushed to completion.
JOHN A. DIX,
SUFFOLK, VA., May 14, 1863.
At 5 p. m. Colonel Foster had driven the enemy back to his intrenchments and the working party was doing well; within 2 1/2 miles of Blackwater.
JOHN J. PECK,
SUFFOLK, VA., May 15, 1863.
The working party are now just this side of Carrsville; getting along well. Have sent rations to Colonel Foster. The enemy are running cars very actively in view of advance on that line.
JOHN J. PECK,
Camp Fifty-eighth Regiment Pennsylvania Vols., May 15, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel SOUTHARD HOFFMAN,
SIR: I have the honor to report that the facts which I communicated to headquarters yesterday respecting the line of Core Creek are confirmed by my patrol, and that the enemy have now no force on that line.