War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0115 Chapter XX. BATTLE OF ROANOKE ISLAND, N.C.

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Roanoke Island will be approved. To secure this important pass, the key of Albemarle Sound, I direct that all efforts be made-

First, to establish batteries at the marshes off south end of the island, one of your own proposition after you personal reconnaissance. If guns at these marshes can prevent the enemy's gunboats from passing they will also prevent any landing,and it will be impossible for them to take the island.

The more permanent battery, as proposed by you, for the marshes may be postponed for the present, and two or more guns mounted on barges or vessels, and placed in position on the different marshes to protect the approaches to the island;this to be the first work done. If it will expedite the work, you are authorized to move one or both of the barges with guns on them now at Redstone Point to the marshes.

Second, one or more wharves appear to be necessary for landing, &c., and should be erected as soon as possible.

I do not consider large forces necessary for the defense of this island. If the batteries can keep off gunboats and transports the infantry will have little opportunity to act.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

BENJ. HUGER,

Major-General, Commanding.

Brigadier General HENRY A. WISE, Commanding Fourth Brigade.

[MARCH 5, 1862.-Huger to Benjamin, inclosing Talcott's report, see p.54.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORFOLK, Norfolk, Va., March 11, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: I transmit inclosed a copy of a letter received from Brigadier General H. A. Wise in reply to mine of 8th instant, requiring, as directed by you, his report of the battle at Roanoke Island.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

BENJ. HUGER,

Major-General.

[Inclosure.]

ROLLISTON, NEAR NORFOLK, March 8, 1862.

Major General B. HUGER, Commanding, &c.:

SIR: In reply to yours of this day, I have to inform you that I did not receive the report of Colonel Shaw of the battle on Roanoke Island on the 7th and 8th February until Monday, the 3rd instant. It inclosed the reports of Colonels Anderson, Jordan, and Green, Majors Hill and Fry, and Captain J. S. Taylor, and is dated February 24. As soon as copied, with its accompanying reports, it was sent to the Secretary of War, Wednesday, the 5th instant, the day of the date of the letter of the Secretary of War to you. Before this he has received the report of Colonel Shaw to me and of mine to him. I retain the originals, and if you desire copies will furnish them to you.

At the same time I request to be furnish with copies of all official letters or papers which you have sent to the War Department, and of all letters sent or orders issued by your subordinates commanding departments or other forces in the district assigned to my command in