War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0113 Chapter XX. BATTLE OF ROANOKE ISLAND, N.C.

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for report. Authority and all due assistance will be given to recruit and reorganize General Wise's Legion. My anxiety for the construction of a work on the south end of the island was freely expressed to General Wise,and its important appears to have been even greater than I supposed, as the north had been reported to me impracticable for the movement of troops. The Third Regiment was not considered a part of the Legion, and it was only the Legion proper which it was designed to remove, with General Wise, to the coast of Virginia and North Carolina.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORFOLK, Norfolk, Va., March 5, 1862.

SIR: I beg to submit the following report of facts in regard to Roanoke Island:

1. On hearing of the capture of Fort Hatteras, on August 29 lat, i sent troops to hold Roanoke Island and throw up some fortifications as promptly as possible. Roanoke Island being outside the limits of my command I reported my action to the Department,and was notified that my course was approved by the President.

2. The Third Georgia Regiment continued to garrison the island and the engineer officers I sent there to fortify it. As the place was so distant and out of my military district, and other troops were sent there from North Carolina, I requested, by letter (dated November 14, 1861), that Roanoke Island be placed entirely under my control and sufficient troops sent me to garrison it, or that I be relieved of the charge of it. An order dated November 26, 1861, placed the island in the command of Brigadier-General Gatlin, General D. H. Hill had immediate command. About December 1 Colonel Wright's Third Georgia Regiment was relieved and ordered to return to this department. The Thirty-first Regiment of North Carolina Volunteers replaced them.

3. From the time the command was given to General Gatlin and Hill until the date of Special Orders, No. 272, December 21, 1861, forming a brigade, commanded by Brigadier General H. A. Wise, I had no control over the position, and when Orders, No. 272, were issued I was not certain that it included Roanoke Island, but wrote to inquire on January 2. Answer received January 4. General Wise reported to me early in January, and I urged his immediate inspection and examination of the position. He did visit it, and returned and reported to me. I addressed him my instruction in a letter of January 13 (copy inclosed). General Wise went a few days after this to Richmond. While he was there an order for him to proceed at once to Roanoke Island was issued, and on or about January 29 General Wise arrived at Nag's Head. On February 7 and 8 the place was attacked and captured by the enemy.

4. The orders of the War Department will show that I had not the control or management of Roanoke Island from the time it was assigned to General Gatlin's command until General Wise was assigned to the command.

My opinion concerning the defenses is expressed in my letter of January 13. I did write to General Wise that batteries should be so placed as to repel a fleet of gunboats, and that supplies,hard work, and coolness were what was wanted.

8 R R-VOL IX