On landing I offered my services to Colonel Shaw, the commanding officer of the post, and during the attack which followed rendered such service as I could.
The details of the actions of the 7th and 8th will no doubt be reported by the commanding officer. I merely desire in this to note the facts which may prove important to the department with which I was connected.
The three guns which were alone brought fully into action at Pork Point were all en barbette, and although the fire of from sixty to seventy guns was concentrated for six hours on these three, which were mounted close together, without either bomb-proof shelters or traverses between them, no serious damage was sustained and the loss of life was very slight.
Although two of the three guns used were a 41-cwt. and 47-cwt. 32-pounders of short range, considerable damage was done to the enemy's gunboats. One gun in embrasure was used during the early part of the action of the 7th with great effect, but the sod revetment of the cheeks of the embrasure suffered somewhat. These facts should tend to give increased confidence in open batteries and barbette guns. It is also worthy of remark that our force engaged at the causeway, not exceeding 350 men, was enabled, under the partial cover of a breastwork 4 1/2 feet high and less than 100 feet long, to resist for five hours an attack by upwards of 10,000 of the enemy's land forces, aided by artillery at least equal to our own.
Although our arms have been defeated by overwhelming numbers and an important position has been lost to us, I cannot see that we have any reason to be disheartened. The enemy himself confessed to a dear-bought victory and the repulse of his Navy.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. M. R. TALCOTT,
First Lieutenant, Artillery, C. S. Army.
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A.,
Richmond, Va., March 5, 1862.
Major General B. HUGER, Norfolk, Va.:
SIR: I have your dispatch stating that General Wise had made no report of the capture of Roanoke Island. Congress insists on receiving reports on the subject, and General Wise has sent me copies of his letters of the 10th and 11th ultimo, which he evidently considered as his report.
I am informed by Colonel Shaw that he gave General Wise his report last week. You are therefore instructed to request from General Wise the report of Colonel Shaw, and to make up such report as you can from the material in your possession, whether letters, reports, or other documents, that I may transmit the report to Congress.
We are using every effort to strengthen your command. It seems evident that a great effort is to be made to capture Norfolk, and its defense must be as vigorous as the whole power of the Confederacy can make it. We shall use all our means of concentrating troops for the defense of Suffolk. In the mean time I would be glad to be advised as promptly as possible of your plans of defense. I beg that in determining on this matter you will consider whether it would not be advisable to withdraw to your inner line, or perhaps send to Suffolk