War of the Rebellion: Serial 108 Page 0692 MD., E. N. C., PA., VA., EXCPET S. W. & W. VA. Chapter LXIII.

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destroy them before re-enforcements can be added. The cannonade that you heard last night arose from a successful effort of the enemy to capture one of our batteries on the river. Under cover of darkness and the fire of his gun-boats and land batteries he landed a frce near Hill's Point and took possession of Strinbling's battery by a surprise. I send you, as you request, some paper and envelops.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servnat,

G. M. SORREL,

[18.] Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS,

April 21, 1863.

Major General G. E. PICKETT,

Commanding, &c.:

I have the honor to notify you that what remains of Strinbling's battery has been ordered to Franklin. The horses will there be temporarily exchanged with Captain Reilly's, to enable that battery to operate in the front and recruit its broken-down animals.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servnat,

G. M. SORREL,

[18.] Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS,

Near Suffolk, April 21, 1863.

Major General D. H. HILL,

Goldsborough:

General Longstreet is closely engaged to-night, and has asked me to write you briefly the particulars of the affairs of Sunday night which resulted in the capture by the enemy of Stribling's battery. Several batteries had been planted on the Nansemond, to hold the river against the passage of gun-boats and transports. Stribling's occupied an old uniclosed work on Hill's Point, a tougue of land a little above the confulence of Western Branch and Nansemond. About dark on the eventing of the 19th the enemy opened a severe fire from his field batteries planted opposited and his gun-boats above and below the fort, entirely sweeping, with a cross-fire, the plain in rear of the work. Under cover of this fire and the darkness he landed a force not more than 150 strong a very little distance from the fort, rushed upon its rear, surprised and captured its garrison. The artillery on the river was directly under the command of Major-General French. There were 5 guns, 55 artilerists, and 70 infantry (sharpshooters) in the fort, which all fell into the hands of the enemy. The affair is regarded as a most remarkable and discreditable instance of an entire absence of vigilance. A regiment (Fifty-fifht North Carolina, and 700 strong), which General Longstreet had particularly ordered to that vicinity for the protection of the battery, was not posted in supporting distance. No official report of the affair has yet been received from General French. The captured guns were carried-across the river. It is come little consolation that only the guns and ammunition chests were lost. There horses and ammunition carriages, being considerably in rear of the battery, were saved. We are otherwise quite comfortable here. The quatermasters and commissaries are actively engaged in getting out supplies.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. M. SORREL,

[18.] Assistant Adjutant-General.