War of the Rebellion: Serial 088 Page 1291 Chapter LIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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them, and shall always be happy to answer any calls for this purpose and feel thankful for any information which will enable the squadron to move promptly where its services can be useful.

J K. MITCHELL,

Flag-Officer, Commanding James River Squadron.

[Fourth indorsement.]

NAVY DEPARTMENT,

October 1, 1864.

Respectfully returned to honorable Secretary of War, whose attention is called to the above indorsement of Flag-Officer Mitchell.

S. R. M[ALLORY],

Secretary of Navy.

[Fifth indorsement.]

OCTOBER 1, 1864.

Noted with pleasure.

J. A. S[EDDON],

Secretary.

[Inclosure.]

HEADQUARTERS,

Chesterfield, September 25, 1864.

Colonel WALTER H. TAYLOR,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of Northern Virginia:

COLONEL: I have the honor to report that Colonel Poague fired ninety-four times on Friday, and only forty shots yesterday. He says that the flag-of-truce boat came down to Cox's Wharf and remained many hours; that it would have to cross the line of enemy's fire, and he did not wish to draw the fire on the boat loaded with our returned prisoners. In the meantime, Yankee like, the enemy vigorously push forward their work at the Gap. I have already reported this truce. I now again respectfully call the attention of the commanding general to the facts. Something should be done, some understanding come to. Either another point of exchange should be agreed upon or they should be compelled to desist working while the flag is pending. As the flag visits so frequently and remains so long, it interferes materially with our mortar practice. The firing of Colonel Mayo's sharpshooters has succeeded in keeping the enemy form the bank of the river. A feeble attempt was made to reply with musketry, which soon ceased, and the enemy then shelled the pickets with mortars, of course without effect. The firing of the mortars, Poague's and Huger's 8-inch, has kept the working parties of the enemy very busy dodging, and their dredging machine has come to a stand-still. If the wish to complete the canal they will be compelled to occupy this bank of the river. Any attempt to do this ought to be prevented by the gun-boats. They certainly can and ought to do so, and I should like much if the commanding general would have it so understood, that when the pickets report any endeavor to or appearance, of crossing a body of troops in barges, or of laying down a pontoon, that the fleet immediately move down to prevent it. Mayo's regiment is small, but with the defenses which we will soon have, it, with Poague's artillery, will (with the assistance asked for from the fleet) be enabled to hold in check any advance of the enemy till we can be re-enforce. I regret to report four deserters from the