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Doc. 27.-the efficiency of the blockade.

Rear-Admiral Lee's report.

flag-ship Minnesota, Newport news, Va., December 21, 1863.
Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy:
sir: In reference to the excessive running of the blockade off Wilmington, as reported in the rebel journals, and copied in our own, I beg leave to call your attention to the following extracts from private letters recently found on the prize steamer Ceres, which plainly show that all such statements are fictions:

Captain Maffit, in a letter to Mr. Lamar, dated Liverpool, October, says: “The news from blockade-runners is decidedly bad. Six of the last boats have recently been caught, among them the Advance and Eugenie. Nothing has entered Wilmington for the last month.”

The firm of William P. Campbell, of Bermuda, says, in a letter to their correspondents in Charleston, dated December second, 1863: “It is very dull here. The only boats that came in from Wilmington this moon were the Flora and Gibraltar.”

Captain Ridgely, senior naval officer off Wilmington, reports, under date of the tenth instant, that but one vessel has succeeded in getting in, to the knowledge of any of the blockading vessels, and that on the night of the tenth instant. She was fired at and hit several times by the Howqua and Britannia. Also, under date of the seventeenth, Captain Ridgely says that: “The newspaper paragraph stating that seventeen vessels arrived in Wilmington in one night, is entirely destitute of truth. Such reports are, doubtless, published to encourage the shipment of crews for the large numbers of vessels recently purchased for blockade-running, as they have been very roughly handled of late. The blockade-runners change their names very often, for the same purpose.”

Each vessel on the blockade off Wilmington sends to me here a carefully prepared abstract from the log for the month, in which every movement is actually recorded, and it is evident from: a comparison of such abstracts, that the reports are entirely unfounded.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully yours,

S. P. Lee, A. R. Admiral Commanding N. A. B. Squadron.

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