War of the Rebellion: Serial 096 Page 0210 N. AND SE. VA., N. C., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.

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HDQRS. DEPT. OF VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA,

ARMY OF THE JAMES,

In the Field, January 23, 1865-11 p. m.

Brigadier-General RAWLINS,

City Point:

The firing to-night from Fort Brady, trying to hit three gun-boats, reported by our pickets as having made their appearance in the bend of the river above. It is a waste of ammunition, and I do not place much on the report.

JOHN GIBBON,

Major-General of Volunteers, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE JAMES,

City Point, January 23, 1865.

Commander WILLIAM A. PARKER,

Commanding Fifth Division, North Atlantic Squadron:

Please inform me what is the condition of the river obstruction above you. Do you consider your naval force sufficient to prevent the possibility of the enemy's gun boats coming down should they make the attempt during high water? If anything is to be done in the way of placing obstructions I will you any assistance required. Please let me know at once, as the steps, if required, should be taken at once.

JOHN GIBBON,

Major-General of Volunteers, Commanding.

U. S. MONITOR ONONDAGA,

Aiken's Landing, January 23, 1865.

Major General JOHN GIBBON,

Commanding, City Point:

The condition of the river obstructions above us is bad; they were washed away by the freshet. I do not consider our naval forces sufficient to prevent the possibility of the enemy-s gun boats coming down should they make the attempt during high water. I believe it to be impossible to replace the obstructions unless Howlett's Battery be first captured.

WM. A. PARKER,

Commander, Commanding Fifth Division.

U. S. MONITOR ONONDAGA,

Aiken's Landing, James River, January 23, 1865.

Major General JOHN GIBBON,

Commanding U. S. Volunteers, City Point, Va.:

It would respectfully recommend that the batteries commanding Trent's Reach and the obstructions should be immediately re-enforced with heavy guns, and that more vessels be sunk in the night near the obstructions; also that some large torpedoes be sunk in the river near them. I have given the orders to Professor Mailefert to sink the torpedoes as soon as possible.

I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. A. PARKER,

Commander, Commanding Fifth Division, North Atlantic Squadron.