War of the Rebellion: Serial 040 Page 0206 Chapter XXXVII. N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.

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FORT MONROE,

April 13, 1863.

Major General H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief:

I am in consultation with Major-General Peck. The enemy are in sight, and not far off. Artillery firing is going on slowly. Peck's position is strong, and will be vigilantly guarded. The only fear is that the enemy may cross the Nansemond. To prevent that, gunboats must be freely used. I will try to examine the river to-day. It is my opposition that the object of the enemy's campaign is the recovery of the whole of James River, and re-enforcements are arriving from various points, many of them from before Fredericksburg. The enemy's batteries have been open for some time. It is an imperative necessity that the Navy keep the Nansemond River open.

E. D. KEYES,

Major-General.

WASHINGTON, D. C.

April 13, 1863-2.30 p. m.

Major-General HOOKER, Army of the Potomac:

Dispatched just received from Fort Monroe say that the enemy is investing Suffolk.

H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief.

SUFFOLK, VA.,

April 13, 1863-3.30 p. m.

Major-General HALLECK, General-in-Chief:

Reliable information from intelligent deserters is to the effect that the enemy have 35,000 of 40,000 in our front, which have come from Fredericksburg, the condition of the roads rendering an attack there impossible. It is stated that D. H. Hill is advancing from North Carolina.

JOHN J. PECK,

Major-General.

SUFFOLK, VA.,

April 13, 1863-5 p. m.

Major General H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief:

I have now completed a thorough examination of Major-General Peck's position, except the river, which I am now going to examine to its mouth. I have been up and down both railroads to Norfolk, and made the circuit of the lines. From every source it is made certain that upward of 40,000 rebels are in front and on the flanks of this position. The easiest way for the enemy to take it is to invest and starve us out. To prevent that, I shall be able to give an opinion after going down the river. As most of the enemy are from the Rappahannock, my present impressing is that two divisions of Major-General Hooker's army ought to be sent here at once.

E. D. KEYES,

Major-General, Commanding.