A. R. Admiral, commanding N. A. B. Squadron Hon Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy.
Letter to General Butler.
flag-ship N. A. B. Squadron, off Newport News, Va., April 9, 1864.
General: The vicinity of Smithfield and Chuckatuck are known to be invested by guerillas, who are reported to have boats concealed up those creeks and their tributaries.
You are aware that the rebels have an organized system of boat expeditions all along the coast, operating at one time from creeks in Morton and Gloucester counties against the Eastern Shore counties, Cape Charles light-house, &c.; at another time against the gunboat Underwriter at Newbern, and now against this ship here.
In all these cases they harbor in the vicinity of their operations.
This was explained by your prisoner, Acting Master Webb, of the rebel navy, captured while thus engaged in the Neck counties near Yorktown, where, as in the vicinity of Smithfield, &c., the small creeks are numerous and not accessible to our g