War of the Rebellion: Serial 045 Page 0304 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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ations within your State. Full instructions will be forwarded to you by mail to-day. I shall be happy to hear from you at any time and to furnish any information you desire. A new department will be organized to-day, embracing West Virginia and all that part of Maryland west of Cumberland, and placed under command of Brigadier-General Kelley, with whom you will please confer, and whose intimate knowledge of all military affairs in your State, with his high military skill, will, it is trusted, give every assurance of safety to your people. Full details will accompany your instructions.


Secretary of War.


Off Newport News, Va., June 24, 1863.

Major General JOHN A. DIX,

U. S. Army, Commanding Army Corps, Fort Monroe:

GENERAL: I received last night the complaint of Captain [J. E.] Mulford, of the Third Infantry New York Volunteers, commanding flag of truce, James River, Va., to Lieutenant-Colonel [William H.] Ludlow, and forwarded by you under date of 23d, respecting the alleged detention by the picket-boat of this squadron of the flag-of-truce steamboat Peconic, on the night of the 20th instant. Captain Mulford states that he reached the Federal picket-boat, about 3 miles above Newport News, before dark; that he was anxious to go down, having a number of dangerously wounded men on board, and, not having the regular boat, he had not the necessary hospital accommodations or medicines; that the officer in charge said his orders were not to allow any boat to go down after dark. Captain Mulford also states that by being thus obliged to anchor, the arrival of the wounded and dying at Annapolis was delayed for twenty-four hours. Captain Mulford asked that the flag-of-truce boat should not be detained when it reaches the picket-boat in time to be clearly and plainly identified. That part of Captain Mulford's letter which relates to the want of proper facilities on board the flag-of-truce boat is not subject to any remedy I can apply. Certainly the squadron instruction do not require the detention of the flag-of-truce boat when it can be clearly and plainly identified. Captain Mulford says he arrived "before dark, " whilst seemingly admitting that the picket-boat detained him because it was "after dark. " Lieutenant Lamson boarded the Peconic next morning, and then reported to me that Captain Mulford told him the Peconic reached the picket-boat between 8 and 9 o'clock at night. The officer commanding the picket reports that Captain Mulford communicated with him at 8. 20 p. m. ; that he told Captain Mulford he could use his discretion about going down, but if he did so to be careful in approaching the fleet; that Captain Mulford then anchored 1 mile below White Shoal light-house. This light-house is situated nearly 8 statute miles above the anchorage of this ship, and the station of the picket-boat is from 1 to 2 miles below the light-house. By the report of the commander of the picket-boat, Captain Mulford communicated with him one hour after sunset (the sun setting at 7. 16). You will readily perceive, general, that owing to the hour at which the flag-of-truce boat reached the picket, and the distance, 6 or 7 miles, thence to the fleet, it was not proper that she should run the risk of approaching the