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[4] I have little doubt that we could have gone in easily, taking the place by surprise. I would not advise a movement against Newbern or Washington again until the iron-clads are done.

In the meantime, having received dispatches that the enemy were in force at Suffolk, and advancing on Blackwater, I deemed it prudent to send General Clingman back to Petersburg.

I have, as yet, received no written report from General Barton, but am of the opinion that he should have advanced at the same time that I did. Had he done so, the enemy being fully employed by me, he would probably have carried out this part of the plan. At any rate it was worth the trial, and I respectfully ask an investigation of his want of cooperation. From all that I can learn, no infantry were over on that side of the river.

The present operation I was afraid of from the first, as there were too many contingencies. I should have wished more concentration, but still hope the effect produced by the expedition may prove beneficial.

I am, General, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,


G. E. Pickett, Major-General Commanding. To General S. Cooper, A. I. General, Richmond, Va.

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