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Doc. 11.-occupation of Norfolk, Va.

Report of General Wool.

Fortress Monroe, May 12, 1862.
Hon. Edwin M. Stanton, Secretdry of War:
on the ninth of May (Friday afternoon) I organized a force to march against Norfolk. On Saturday morning, the tenth of May, the troops were landed under the direction of Capt. Cram at Ocean View, and commenced the march toward Norfolk, with Generals Mansfield and Weber, who proceeded on the direct route by way of Tanner's Creek bridge, but finding it on fire, they returned to the cross-roads, where I formed them and took the direction of the column. I arrived by the old road, and captured the intrenchments in front of the city at twenty minutes before five P. M. I immediately proceeded toward Norfolk, accompanied by the Hon. Secretary Chase, and was met by the Mayor and a select committee of the Common Council of Norfolk at the limits of the city, when they surrendered the city, agreeably to the terms set forth in the resolutions of the Common Council presented by the Mayor, Wm. W. Lamb, which were accepted by me so far as related to the civil rights of its citizens. A copy of the resolutions has been already furnished you. I immediately took possession of the city, and appointed Brig.-Gen. Egbert L. Viele Military Governor of Norfolk, with directions to see that the citizens were protected in all their civil rights. Soon after I took possession of Gosport and Portsmouth. The taking of Norfolk caused the destruction of the iron-clad steamer Merrimac, which was blown up by the rebels about five o'clock on the morning of the eleventh of May, which was soon after communicated to you and the President of the United States. On the eleventh I visited the navy-yard, and found all the workshops, storehouses, and other buildings in ruins, having been set on fire by the rebels, who, at the same time, partially blew up the dry-dock. I also visited Craney Island, where I found thirty-nine guns of large calibre, most of which were spiked; also a large number of shot and shell, with about five thousand pounds of powder, all of which, with the buildings, were in good order. As far as I have been able to ascertain, we have taken about two hundred cannon, including those at Sewell's Point batteries, together with a large number of shot and shell, as well as many other articles of value stationed at the Navy-Yard, Craney Island, Sewell's Point, and other places.

John E. Wool, Major-General Commanding

New-York times account.

Ocean view, opposite Fort Monroe, Saturday evening, 8 o'clock.
Norfolk and Gosport Navy-Yard again belong to the United States. Our troops, under General Wool, entered and took possession of the town at five o'clock in the afternoon, receiving its surrender at the hands of the Mayor and Common Council. [41] All the troops who had been holding it under Gen. Huger were withdrawn yesterday — the public buildings and public property in the Navy-Yard were all destroyed. The people remained in the city, and our forces entered into peaceable possession of it, being encamped two miles out of town, in what is called the intrenched camp, which was very strongly fortified, and in which thirty pieces of cannon fell into our possession.

For some time past Gen. Wool has been of the opinion that Norfolk might be taken with but little cost; but nothing definite has been done in regard to it, partly because the cooperation of the Navy Department could not be secured, and partly because such a movement was not consistent with the general plan of the campaign which had been decided upon. After the fall of Yorktown and the withdrawal of the great body of the rebel army, it was believed that the abandonment of Norfolk would speedily follow as a necessary consequence. When Gen. McClellan, therefore, on Monday after the fall of Yorktown, telegraphed to Gen. Wool asking for more troops, in order to make an effective pursuit of the rebels up York River, Gen. Wool declined to send any, on the ground that it might become necessary for him to take and hold Norfolk.

On Thursday the little steam-tug J. B. White came in from Norfolk, having deserted from the rebel service. She had been sent to bring in a couple of rebel schooners from the mouth of Tanner's Creek; the officers in charge of her being Northern men, and having been long desirous of escaping from the rebel regime, considered this a favorable opportunity for effecting their object. They slipped past Craney Island without attracting any hostile observation, and then steered directly for Newport News. On arriving they reported that the rebel troops were evacuating Norfolk — that very many had already gone, and that not over two or three thousand remained, and even these, it was confidently believed, would very speedily be withdrawn. They were men of intelligence and of evident sincerity, and their statements commanded full confidence.

Under these circumstances Gen. Wool decided to make a military demonstration there. A large body of troops was embarked upon the transports lying in the Roads, and all preparations were made with a view to a landing on Sewell's Point during Thursday night. Several of our vessels were sent to shell the Point during the preceding day, and as you have already heard, they did it with a good deal of effect. But they received very vigorous replies from the batteries there, and were finally put to flight by the appearance of the Merrimac, which came to take part in the contest. This vigorous demonstration on the part of the rebels satisfied the military authorities that the attack could not safely be made at that time or at that point. The troops were accordingly disembarked on Friday morning, and the expedition was for the time abandoned.

On Friday Secretary Chase, who had been spending two or three days here, as had also President Lincoln and Secretary Stanton, learned from a pilot familiar with the coast, that there was a place where a landing could be effected a mile or so beyond Willoughby Point, and that a very good road led directly from that shore to Norfolk. In company with Gen. Wool and Col. T. J. Cram, of the Topographical Engineers, Secretary Chase on Friday crossed over in the steam revenue cutter Miami, and sent a boat to sound the depth of the water and examine the shore, with a view to a landing for troops. While doing so, they perceived signs of a mounted picket-guard on the shore above, and not deeming it safe to venture too far, they pulled back for the Miami. On their way, however, a woman was seen in a house on shore waving a white flag. The boat's crew at once returned, and were told by the woman that her husband had fled to the woods, to avoid being forced into the rebel service by the mounted scouts who came every day to find him, and that on his last departure he had instructed her to wave a white flag on the approach of any boats from the Union side. She gave the party a good deal of valuable information concerning the roads and the condition of the country between there and Norfolk. Secretary Chase and Col. Cram went ashore and satisfied themselves that a landing was perfectly feasible. On returning to Fortress Monroe, they found that President Lincoln and Secretary Stanton, on examining the maps, had been led to make a similar exploration and had come to a similar conclusion, though the points at which the parties had struck the shore proved to have been a mile or two apart.

The result of all this was that Gen. Wool decided upon an immediate march upon Norfolk from that point, and orders were at once issued to carry it into effect. The steamer Adelaide, which was filled with freight and passengers for Baltimore, was stopped half an hour before her time of sailing, and with half a dozen others, was at once occupied by the infantry and artillery destined for the expedition. They began to embark at about four o'clock, on Friday afternoon, and by midnight several of them had started for the opposite shore. A vigorous bombardment was opened from the Rip Raps upon Sewell's Point, and kept up for two hours, to induce the belief that this was the intended point of debarkation. The steamers crossed over, and at daylight preparations were made for landing. The infantry regiments were landed first, and started at once upon their march. The negroes, who alone remained behind, said that a mounted picket had left, saying that the Union men were coming over in a day or two.

One leading object of pushing forward the infantry rapidly, was to secure, if possible, the bridge across Tanner's Creek, by which the route to Norfolk would be shortened several miles. The route lay through pine woods and over roads in only tolerable condition. At about one o'clock the leading regiment, under Max Weber, came to the bridge and found it burning, having just been set on fire by a body of men who had planted a couple of small guns on the opposite bank, which they opened upon our advance. Gen. Mansfield, [42] who had come over from Newport News, at Gen. Wool's request, to join the expedition, thought this indicated an intention to resist the further progress of our troops, and that nothing could be done without artillery and a larger force. He accordingly started back to hurry up the batteries and to provide for bringing over a portion of his command as a reinforcement. Gen. Wool, however, meantime decided to push forward. The column marched back about two miles and a half to a point where a diverging road led around the head of Tanner's Creek, and took that route to Norfolk. Nothing further was heard from the party that had fired upon our column, and it was evident that the demonstration was merely intended to protect them in the destruction of the bridge. They fired about a dozen shots, none of which took effect.

Our troops pushed rapidly forward in spite of the heat of the day, and at five o'clock reached the entrenched camp, some two miles this side of Norfolk, which had been very strongly fortified with earthworks on which were mounted twenty-nine pieces of artillery. No troops were in the place, and our forces passed through it on their way to the town. Just before reaching it they were met by a flag of truce, to which an officer was at once sent forward to enquire its object. Receiving the information that it was to treat for the surrender of the city, the officer returned, and Gen. Wool and staff, with Secretary Chase, advanced to meet the Mayor of the city, who had come out under the flag. Both parties dismounted and entered a cottage by the roadside, when the Mayor informed the General of the evacuation of the city and of the object of his visit.

It seems that a meeting was held at Norfolk some days since — not long, probably, after the evacuation of Yorktown was resolved upon — by the rebel Secretary of War, Gen. Huger, Gen. Longstreet, and some others of the leading military authorities, at which it was determined not to attempt to hold the city against any demonstration of the National forces to effect its capture. This decision was followed by the withdrawal of the main body of the troops.

The Mayor said he had come to surrender the city into the hands of the United States, and to ask protection for the persons and property of the citizens.

Gen. Wool replied that his request was granted in advance--that the Government of the United States had not the slightest wish or thought of interfering with the rights of any peaceable citizen, and that all should have full protection against violence of every kind. The first thing he had done on setting out in the morning had been to issue an order, prohibiting under the severest penalties any interference whatever with the private property or rights of any citizen, and this prohibition should be enforced with the utmost rigor. He begged the Mayor to rest assured that everything he had asked should be granted.

A general conversation then took place between the officials on each side, in which their sentiments and opinions were freely interchanged. The party then broke up to go to the City Hall for the formal inauguration of the new military authorities. The Mayor invited Gen. Wool and Secretary Chase to ride with him in his carriage, and they proceeded together, followed by the General's body-guard and the troops. After entering the City Hall the Commanding General issued the following:

headquarters, Department of Virginia, Norfolk, May 10, 1862.
The city of Norfolk having been surrendered to the United States Government, military possession of the same is taken in behalf of the National Government by Major-Gen. John E. Wool. Brig.-Gen. Viele is appointed Military Governor for the time being. He will see that all citizens are carefully protect d in all their rights and civil privileges, taking the utmost care to preserve order and to see that no soldiers be permitted to enter the city except by his order, or by the written permission of the commanding officer of his brigade or regiment, and he will punish any American soldier who shall trespass upon the rights of any of the inhabitants.

John E. Wool, Major-General.

Immediately after issuing this order Gen. Wool with his staff and Secretary Chase withdrew, and rode back in the carriage used only this morning by Gen. Huger, across the country to Ocean View, the place of debarkation, which they reached at a little after eight o'clock.

Gen. Viele at once entered upon the discharge of his duties. His first act was to issue the following, which was freely posted and circulated throughout the town:

Norfolk, May 11, 1862.
The occupancy of the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth is for the protection of the public laws and the maintenance of the public laws of the United States. Private associations and domestic quiet will not be disturbed, but violations of order and disrespect to the Government will be followed by the immediate arrest of the offenders. Those who have left their homes under anticipation of acts of vandalism may be assured that the Government allows no man the honor of serving in its armies, who forgets the duties of a citizen in discharging those of a soldier, and that no individual rights will be interfered with. The sale of liquor is prohibited.

Egbert L. Viele, Military Governor.

Immediately after Gen. Wool left the City Hall, a large concourse of citizens assembled around the City Hall and called loudly for a speech from the Mayor.

Mayor Lamb came forward and addressed them briefly, confining himself mainly to a recital of the incidents of the day. He said he had nothing to do with deciding the result; that had been done by the superior authorities. The citizens of Norfolk had been deserted by their friends, and all the city authorities could do was to obtain the best terms possible for themselves and their property. He was happy to assure them [43] that in this he had been successful. The Commanding General of the United States troops had conceded everything they had asked, and had guaranteed the preservation of order. He enjoined upon the citizens the maintenance of peace and quiet, and exhorted them to abstain from all acts of violence and disorder. If the decision had rested with him, he would have defended the city to the last man; but their government had decided differently, and they must yield to its authority. The Mayor's remarks were cheered by the crowd, who also gave three cheers for President Davis with a great deal of enthusiasm, and also responded with less heartiness to a demand for three groans for Lincoln.

Thus ends this day's work. It has been vigorous and effectual. The embarkation of the expedition begun last night at four o'clock. It was landed upon a slightly known shore, without a wharf, early next day. Gen. Wool slept in Fortress Monroe last night — marched with his troops some twenty miles, captured Norfolk, and was in bed again in his own quarters before midnight.

One of the neatest little exploits of the campaign was performed by Capt. Drake De Kay, of Gen. Mansfield's staff, while awaiting the General's arrival at a house called Moore's Ranche, a kind of summer hotel, kept by a man named Moore, at Ocean View, the place of debarkation. All the white men and most of the women of this vicinity had fled — it was said by those they had left behind, to the woods, to prevent being forced into the rebel service. Capt. De Kay, while supper was being prepared, mounted his horse and determined to explore the country, followed only by his negro servant. As he was passing a swamp toward evening, he came suddenly upon seven of the secession troops, who were lurking by the roadside, and were armed with double-barrelled guns. The Captain turned and shouted to his (imaginary) company to prepare to charge, and then riding forward rapidly, revolver in hand, told the men they were his prisoners, as his cavalry would soon be upon them, ordered them to discharge their pieces and deliver them to him, which they did without delay. He then informed them that his only “company” was his negro servant, and directed them to follow him into camp. An hour later, just after Gen. Wool had returned from Norfolk, the Captain rode to the beach and informed Col. Cram, as Chief of the General's staff, that the seven prisoners, whom he had marched to the beach, were at his disposal. Their arms were taken away, and on promising to take the oath of allegiance the men were at once dismissed. One of them proved to be Moore himself, who came over to his house, where he found half a dozen of us in full possession, and just preparing to discuss a very comfortable supper which his colored cook had got ready for us.

Baltimore American account.

Fortress Monroe, May 9, 1862.
Old Point this evening presents a very stirring spectacle. About a dozen steamers and transports are loading with troops. They will land on the shore opposite the Rip Raps, and march direct on Norfolk.

At the time I commence writing--nine o'clock P. M.--the moon shines so brightly that I am sitting in the open air, in an elevated position, and writing by moonlight. The transports are gathering in the stream, and have on board artillery, cavalry, and infantry, and will soon be prepared to start. The Rip Raps are pouring shot and shell into Sewell's Point, and a bright light in the direction of Norfolk indicates that the work of destruction has commenced.

President Lincoln, as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, is superintending the expedition himself. About six o'clock he went across to the place selected for landing, which is a mile below the Rip Raps. It is said he was the first man to step on shore, and after examining for himself the facilities for landing returned to the Point, where he was received with enthusiastic cheering by the troops who were embarking.

The Merrimac still lies off Craney Island, and the Monitor has resumed her usual position. The fleet are floating quietly at their anchorage, ready at any moment for activity. It is evident that the finale of the rebellion, so far as Norfolk is concerned, is rapidly approaching. The general expectation is, that the troops now embarking will have possession of that city before to-morrow night.

Ten o'clock P. M.--The expedition has not yet started, the delay being caused by the time required for storing the horses and cannon on the Adelaide. The batteries at the Rip Raps have stopped throwing shells, and all is quiet. The scene in the Roads of the transports steaming about is most beautiful, presenting a panoramic view that is seldom witnessed.

Willoughby's point, Va., Saturday Morning, May 10.
The troops left during the night, and at daylight could be seen from the wharf landing at Willoughby Point, a short distance from the Rip Raps.

Through the influence of Secretary Stanton, I obtained this morning a permit to accompany Gen. Wool and Gen. Mansfield and their staffs to Willoughby's Point, on the steamer Kansas, and here I am on the sacred soil, within eight miles of Norfolk. The point at which we have landed is known as Point Pleasant, one of the favorite drives from Norfolk.

The first regiment landed was the Twentieth New-York, known as Max Weber's regiment, who pushed on immediately, under command of Gen. Weber, and were at eight o'clock in the morning picketed within five miles of Norfolk.

The First Delaware, Colonel Andrews, pushed forward at nine o'clock, accompanied by Gen. Mansfield and Gen. Viele and staff. They were soon followed by the Sixteenth Massachusetts, Col. Wyman.

The remainder of the expedition consists of the Tenth New-York, Col. Bendix; the Fifty-eighth Pennsylvania, Colonel Bailey; the Ninety-ninth [44] New-York, Coast Guards; Major Dodge's battalion of mounted rifles and Capt. Follett's company (D) of the Fourth regular artillery.

Gen. Wool and staff remained to superintend the landing of the remainder of the force, all of whom were landed and off before noon. The President, accompanied by Secretary Stanton, accompanied Gen. Wool and staff to the wharf, and then took a tug and proceeded to the Minnesota, where the President was received by a national salute. It is generally admitted that the President and Secretary have infused new vigor into both naval and military operations here. The President has declared that Norfolk must fall, the Merrimac must succumb to the naval power of the Union, and that the Government property at Norfolk must be repossessed, at whatever cost it may require.

The point at which we are landing, with the aid of a half-dozen canal-boats, furnishes quite a fine harbor, and the troops and horses are landing with great facility. The beach is fine and sloping, and a woods of thick cedar lines the shores. A good road starts from here direct to Norfolk, which is distant only seven miles, and at noon our infantry advance had accomplished half the distance without obstruction of any kind, where they halted for the arrival of the artillery and cavalry. They will, of course, proceed more cautiously for the remainder of the route; but appearances would indicate that the evacuation of Norfolk is steadily progressing.

I just learn that Gen. Max Weber has advanced to within three miles of Norfolk without meeting with any serious opposition. At Tanner's Creek a small picket was stationed, with a howitzer, and a slight skirmish took place without any damage on either side. The rebels fled in great haste across the bridge, which they destroyed. Two prisoners were taken, who stated there would be no resistance at Norfolk, which was being evacuated, and that the determination was not to make the “last ditch” at Norfolk. Fires were burning all around the country, principally the destruction of barracks and camps.

Fortress Monroe, May 10, 1862.
I have just returned from Point Pleasant. Large reinforcements of cavalry, infantry, and artillery are being sent over, and we will soon have quite a respectable force in the rear of Norfolk to repulse the enemy if he should dispute the possession of the city.

Whilst all these active movements are progressing toward Norfolk by the mainland, there is the utmost quiet observable on the sea side. The iron monster, the Merrimac, still remains moored under the shore of the Craney Island battery, and has not apparently budged a peg for the last twenty-four hours. The Monitor has also remained quietly all day at her usual anchorage, and our vessels of war. The quiet that now prevails must, however, be the prelude to a sudden storm. If Norfolk should be evacuated and possessed by our troops, what will become of the Merrimac? If the troops should reach the city and the Merrimac should go back to shell them, what will be the course of the Monitor and our fleet? Will they not follow the Merrimac and give her a fire in the rear?

Norfolk, Sunday, May 11, 1862.
Here I am in the city of Norfolk, over which floats the flag of the Union from the cupola of the Custom-House, which has been “repossessed and reoccupied” by the Government. From the masts of five noble vessels-of-war, ranged around the harbor, floats the same beautiful banner, whilst the flag of Com. Goldsborough floats from the Susquehanna, which lies directly in the centre of this line of marine architecture. The guns are protruding from the ports of their long line of wooden walls, which are flanked on the right by the Monitor and the Naugatuck, which are moored in front of old Fort Norfolk. But I must proceed to give you a narrative as to how all these events originated.

In my last letter I stated that a force had been landed at Point Pleasant, eight miles in the rear of Norfolk, under command of Major-Gen. Wool, with Brig.-Generals Mansfield, Max Weber, and Viele. The first division of the troops landed at the Port, (the Twentieth New-York, under Max Weber,) immediately started forward, accompanied by the Independent Lowell artillery company of Capt. Davis, equipped and acting as infantry. They continued the advance for five miles without any obstructions. On approaching the bridge over Tanner's Creek, the rebels retreated across, set it on fire, and with three small howitzers opened a fire on our advance, which was returned with rifles, without “anybody being hurt” on either side. The bridge being nearly a quarter of a mile long, so soon as it was in flames, and pursuit foiled, the rebels fled toward Norfolk.

A halt was here ordered, and the men rested until Major-Gen. Wool and staff, with Gens. Viele and Mansfield, came up with Major Dodge's company of mounted rifles, acting as the commanding General's body-guard. A “native,” who was found on the road, was questioned as to the roads to Norfolk, and it was ascertained that the city could be reached by the Princess Anne road, around the head of Tanner's Creek, by a march of eight miles. On obtaining this information, Gen. Wool ordered an advance, and, taking the head of the column, the veteran soldier, with Secretary Chase riding by his side as a volunteer aid, proceeded forward in line of march by the new route, sending skirmishers in advance.

Nothing of interest occurred on the line of march until the troops reached within three miles of the city, when all the approaches were observed to be extensively fortified by lines of earthworks full three miles in length, mounted with heavy guns. These works could have been defended by five thousand men against an army of forty thousand, but not a man was found within these ramparts, and all the guns were spiked. The ammunition from these works had mostly been removed, and probably taken to Norfolk. Gen. Viele was the first to enter, followed by the skirmishers and body-guard and staff of Gen. Wool. [45]

Shortly after passing these harmless obstructions in their pathway, the line of march for the city was again taken up, the spires and prominent points of which could be occasionally seen through the thick foliage of the trees. When about a mile from the suburbs, Mayor Lamb, of Norfolk, accompanied by one of the city councilmen, approached the advancing column, bearing a flag of truce, when a halt took place,

The Mayor informed Gen. Wool that Gen. Huger and the rebel troops had evacuated the city and restored the civil authorities; that there were no troops at that time within some miles of Norfolk or Portsmouth; and that, under all circumstances, he was prepared, on the part of the people, to give to the Federal troops quiet and peaceable possession; all that he asked in return was that private property should be respected, and peaceably disposed citizens allowed to follow their usual vocations.

A halt was then called, and the men bivouacked on the field for the night, outside of the limits of the city, and Gen. Wool, accompanied by Secretary Chase, and Gen. Viele and his staff and mounted body-guard, with a corps of gentlemen of the press, advanced to the city with the Mayor, and found a large throng of citizens assembled at the Court-House. Here the Mayor stated to the people the subject of his interview with Gen. Wool, and repeated the assurance that he had given him of protection to personal rights and private property. This assurance was received with cheers by the people — not very enthusiastic, but nevertheless cheers.

The harbor of Norfolk looked most beautiful, and the green foliage of the trees gave a summer aspect to the whole landscape, as we lay on the broad expanse of water between the two cities. After cruising about for some time among the fleet we landed at the wharf, and took a stroll through the city. It being Sunday, of course all places of business were closed, and the city presented a quiet aspect. The wharves were crowded with blacks, male and female, and a goodly number of working people, with their wives and children, were strolling about. Soldiers were stationed on the wharves, and picketed through the city, whilst the flag of the Union floated in triumph from the cupola of the Custom-House. The houses through the city were generally closed, especially most of those of the wealthier classes.

The President lay off in the steamer Baltimore for about an hour in front of the city, and then steamed back to the Fortress. Secretary Chase returned with him, whilst Secretary Stanton remained until a late hour for consultation with Gen. Viele and Gen. Wool.

True to the spirit of secession, the <*>re, which threw a broad glare across the heavens on Saturday night, proceeded from the destruction of the Portsmouth navy-yard, which was done by order of the rebel commandant. It is now almost a mass of ruins, scarcely anything being left but black walls and tall chimneys. Even the immense stone dry-dock, which cost nearly a million of dollars, was mined and damaged, and it is said that the engine and pump belonging to it were removed to Richmond.

Whilst the Union men of Norfolk are reserved and fearful, those of Portsmouth, on.the contrary, gave the most enthusiastic testimony on Sunday in behalf of the faith that is in them. The destruction of the navy-yard has given great dissatisfaction, and as we steamed along the wharves quite a number of flags could be seen suspended from private residences. Small boys were parading the streets with flags, evidently manufactured by their mothers, and there was every evidence that with a better supply of bunting there will be no lack of the disposition and determination to give it to the breeze. The possession of a concealed Federal flag was deemed an act of treason by the rebel authorities — all that could be found were destroyed; hence the present scarcity among the people.

While the navy-yard was being destroyed on Saturday night another party was engaged in going around and firing the shipping and steam-boats in the harbor. Among these was the Baltimore steamer William Selden, stolen at the commencement of the war, the Cayuga, the Pilot Boy, and other small craft. There were also two iron-clad gunboats, which were unfinished, set on fire and floated over towards Norfolk, probably for the purpose of destroying the city. The firemen, however, towed them out and extinguished them.

This work of destruction was accomplished on Saturday night, after the Federal troops had occupied Norfolk; and the incendiaries could be seen moving about in the darkness, with their pitch-pine flambeaux, like so many diabolical visitants. The scene strongly reminded the spectator of the panorama of the burning of Moscow, and with the immense flame that it threw forth made the scene one of terrible grandeur.

Letter from General Wool.

In a private letter to a friend in New-York, Gen. Wool wrote:

The whole affair of the capture of Norfolk was done in twenty-seven hours. My course was by water twelve miles, and by land thirty-six, on horseback. My friend D----will tell you I am a hard rider. I do not think he will care to ride <*>ith me again to Hampton and back.

I found by examination, on Friday morning, that I could land troops without much trouble at Ocean View, six miles from Fortress Monroe. The Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. Chase, and my aid-de-camp, Col. Cram, were with me. We returned to the fort at two o'clock. I immediately organized a force of less than six thousand men, and embarked them during the night under the direction of Col. Cram.

The Colonel constructed a bridge of boats, and landed the troops at the point named early on Saturday morning. As fast as they could form, I put them in motion for Norfolk. Our route was by the New Bridge. On approaching the bridge the troops were fired on from a battery of three six-pounders.

The necessary halt enabled the enemy to fire [46] the bridge. At this moment I arrived at the head of the column, and by a countermarch proceeded by the old road to Norfolk, where I arrived safe at five o'clock, when the Mayor and Common Council met me and surrendered the city.

The enemy, three thousand strong, with Gen. Huger, had fled but a short time before my arrival.

The intrenchments through which I passed had twenty-one guns mounted, which, properly manned, might have made an effective defence.

I turned the command over to Brig.-Gen. Viele, and appointed him Military Governor of the city, and then returned to the Fort and reported to the President and Secretary of War.

I think it a fair inference that the occupation of Norfolk caused the blowing up of the “dreaded Merrimac,” and thus secured to us the free use of the James River. The army may, therefore, claim at least some share of this much-desired naval success.

I have given you a hasty sketch of this movement, thinking it would be interesting to my friends in New-York.

In great haste, most truly yours,

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