War of the Rebellion: Serial 040 Page 0208 Chapter XXXVII. N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.

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SUFFOLK, VA.,

April 13, 1863-9 p. m.

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

Longstreet's force is pretty well settled at 35,000. Co-operation of Hill expected. One division, at least, should be sent here, as they are fighting for the James River. He has one hundred and twenty pieces of artillery.

JOHN J. PECK,

Major-General.

FORT MONROE, VA.,

April 13, 1863-11 p. m.

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

I have this moment returned from an examination of the Nansemond River. The enemy's sharpshooters line the left bank some distance down, and all the passing steamers have been pelted to-day. Our pilothouse, was struck seven times. The gunboats on the river are frail wooden structures, which the enemy's field batteries can soon cripple of burn with hot shot. He can then, without much exertion, cross out of range of any of our works, get upon Peck's rear, and seize the two railroads, or attack his weakest side, which is from the Seaboard Railroad to the river and along the river, when the gunboats are out of the way. Once invested, it will be next to impossible to relieve Peck, and he would in a short time be starved into a surrender. The problem is a difficult, and requires the most able attention. Pickett's Hood's, and Provor's (now Davis) division are there. Pickett's left the Rappahannock February 15, and Hood's shortly after. The Southern army is in fine health-soldiers made by poverty and hardships-and are perfectly armed. They have about fifty pieces of artillery and some cavalry. All, or nearly all, the horses in poor condition. Coming down the river has increased but not perfected my knowledge of Peck's situation. I will need to observe it still more to-morrow. I will write more fully.

E. D. KEYES,

Major-General, Commanding.

BALTIMORE,

April 13, 1863.

Brigadier General B. S. ROBERTS,

Commanding Fourth Separate Brigade, Buckhannon:

GENERAL: Your letter of the 7th instant, suggesting the line of policy toward the people in the district of country within your command who favor secession and rebellion, has been received. Your views seem to accord with those of the general commanding. He expects to visit Washington some day within the present week, and will confer with authorities there as to the issuing of a general order from the army headquarters on the subject. But if that be not done, he directs me to say that he will shortly publish a general department order covering the ground.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. H. CHESEBROUGH,

Assistant Adjutant-General.