War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0731 Chapter XXX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

not what he intends to do. I can give you no re-enforcements whatever. If under these circumstances your position at West Point is deemed unsafe you will withdraw from it.




Off Newport News, Va., May 28, 1863.

Major General J. G. FOSTER,

Commanding Eighteenth Army Corps, New Berne, N. C.:

GENERAL: Your interesting communication of the 13th instant was received during my absence at Washington, where I saw General Halleck and urged him to give you more men. He informed Secretary Fox and myself that it would be utterly impossible to do so until conscripts are got. Still I pressed the matter in another interview, and left at the Department a report on the subject, which I was informed would be communicated to the Secretary of War.

I hope you may get the troops which you so greatly need for the occupation of Smith's Island and the attack on Wilmington.

Your views respecting the occupation of Plymouth, Roanoke Island, and Washington are certainly very forcible. I will at all times use every effort to sustain you in holding your positions, and especially while you are supported by so few troops. I have instructed Commander Davenport to make every exertion to support you at this critical period.

If you can make the military occupation of New Berne, Plymouth, and Washington complete, so as to require little or no gunboat defense, fewer vessels will be required in the Sounds, and yet allow a sufficient movable force there to keep the police of its waters, prevent such escapes as those of the Arrow and Emily up the Chowan, and prevent violations of the blockade. Though the vessels in the Sounds are not adapted to outside cruising a portion of them would be very useful for blockade and other duty here.

I have just written urgently to the Navy Department to try and get you more troops and artillery.

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, yours,

S. P. LEE,

Act. Rear-Admiral, Commanding N. Atlantic Blockading Squadron.


Off Newport News, Va., May 30, 1863-12 m.

Major General JOHN A. DIX, U. S. A.,

Commanding Seventh Army Corps, Fortress Monroe, Va.:

Your dispatch is just received. I have but one gunboat here, attending a court-martial, and one at Norfolk, repairing with dispatch for important duty. Five other gunboats are now in the vicinity of Yorktown.

Please inform me fully what service is required, that I may know what dispositions to make and what instructions to give to promote the public interest.

S. P. LEE,

Acting Rear-Admiral.