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Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War. Volume 4., Operations South of the James River. (search)
eyes's) remained on the Peninsula when the Army of the Potomac was withdrawn (see p. 438, Vol. II.), and who took command at Suffolk soon after, gives the following account of events on the Nansemond and the Black-water, between September, 1862, and May, 1863 [see map, p. 494]: On the 22d September, 1862, I was ordered to Suffolk, with about 9000 men, to repel the advance of Generals Pettigrew and French from the Black water with 15,000 [5000] men. . . . Situated at the head of the Nansemond River, with the railway to Petersburg and Weldon, Suffolk is the key to all the approaches to the mouth of the James River on the north of the Dismal Swamp. Regarding the James as second only in importance to the Mississippi for the Confederates, . . . I prepared a system, and on the 25th commenced Fort Dix. . . . My labors alarmed the authorities at Richmond, who believed I was preparing a base for a grand movement upon the rebel capital, and the whole of the Blackwater was fortified, as we