War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0116 OPERATIONS IN NORTH CAROLINA. Chapter XX.

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North Carolina touching or relating to my late command in that district, and especially any of those sent to Colonel Wright at Elizabeth City or elsewhere. I make this request in order to aid the inquiry which I have demanded respecting my command and to subserve the justice due to you as well as to myself in respect to the defense of Roanoke Island and their conduct by you and by myself and others and in respect to my retreat to Great Brigade.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORFOLK, Norfolk, March 17, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN,

Secretary of War:

SIR: I received yesterday by special messenger your letter of the 15th instant, * inclosing a letter to be forwarded to General Wise.+ Also a voluminous report (143 pages) sent to you by General Wise, and forwarded to me for my remarks.++

The letter to General Wise was sent to him at once. I have devoted the night to looking over the voluminous report, which I find is not a report of the battle of Roanoke Island, but a collection of all General Wise's correspondence, with his explanatory remarks, giving his views of the conduct of the War Department, myself, and others. As you remark, no such report should be sent, unless forward through me.

It will take much time to examine so voluminous a document carefully, which at this moment I can illy spare from more important duties.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

BENJ. HUGER,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORFOLK, Norfolk, Va., March 18, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN,

Secretary of War:

SIR: I send herewith a letter received from General Wise, dated 16th instant, covering a copy of his report to you of the capture of Roanoke Island and the original reports of his subordinates on the subject, viz: The report of Colonel H. M. Shaw and the reports to him of Colonel Jordan, Lieutenant-Colonels Green and Anderson, Majors Hill and Fry, and Captain J. S. Taylor. Having no personal knowledge of the positions, and uniformed, except by these reports, of the occurrences there, I have no remark to make upon them.

As I occupied this island the end of August last on my own responsibility, it being without the limits of my command, there seems to be a general impression that I had had entire control of it, which is an error. I did partially fortify and garrison it last summer. I was afterward relieved from all charge of it, and troops I had sent there were withdrawn and returned to this command. It was, by order of

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*See p.68.

+Of March 14, see p.168.

++No. 24, p.122.

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