War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0120 OPERATIONS IN NORTH CAROLINA. Chapter XX.

Search Civil War Official Records

engaged to transport troops to Roanoke Island, and therefore none could be got to transport the artillery pieces, caissons, " &c., and therefore he sent them by land route. What land route? Not the beach route, for he had ordered them away from that route, and that was the only route by which Roanoke Island could be approximated by land. That route even had to cross Roanoke Sound from Nag's Head. Any other land route had to cross from 15 to 45 miles of the boisterous and broad Albemarle Sound. Then tugs, barges, and vessels would be needed by the route he sent them; and he says the were no tugs, barges, or vessels to be procured for them. Did he know this, and yet did he send them by a route for which there was no water transport? He did; and yet I believe General Huger's intention was to expedite them; that his object, as he says, was to get them there, not to detain them. His intention and object were ever so good, but he was grossly ignorant of the routes and careless in organizing his means of transportation.

For information of the means of transportation and how it was ordered and disposed and how and when it could be procured I refer the committee to Marshall Parks, president of the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal, and to Mr. Lindsay, of Norfolk. They have furnished most of the tugs, &c., and can tell how many lighters, vessels, and barges could have been procured; if not at Norfolk, in any of the waters of North Carolina nearer to the island than Norfolk. I refer also to Dr. Thomas Warren, of Edenton, N. C.

Second. He says that my remark upon Major Hill's and Captain Taylor's reports about the only three guns brought to bear on the enemy is "disingenuous." This is an offensive term; it means to say that I was not in this remark "frank, free, open, sincere, plain;" but my respect for the military service and for the committee admonishes me to deal with it mildly and forbearingly. I trust, then, it is not unbecoming up me to say that General Huger's reply, showing his reason for using the term, is so naive, so to render it innocuous. I stated the fact on the authority of Major Hill. Other guns were fired on the enemy, but because they could not be brought to bear on them ceased firing. But what says General Huger? "The enemy selected a position in which only three guns bore on them." Ah, and were the five batteries so located that an enemy's fleet of thirty-seven sail in attack could select a position in which only three guns bore on them? So says General Huger, and that is all any fair, intelligent mind could have understood me to say. The worst constructed forts in any locality with more than thirty guns could perhaps bring more than three guns to bear if the enemy would let General Huger select his position for him. But in this instance the enemy selected his own position. Where? In the open Croatan Sound. How far off from Pork Point Battery? One thousand yards. Did no guns but three of that battery bear? None. Did the guns of no other battery bear? None. So that General Huger is certainly naive, and I not "disingenuous." His reasoning is like his command, and my statement is in effect admitted by him to be "fair." As far as permitted by the rules of propriety and position I repel his imputation on my sincerity. The committee will maintain decorum and I will observe military discipline.

General Huger's averment that "those three guns did repel their whole fleet" is just simply ridiculous. They did no damage to the enemy's fleet that ever I have been informed of, and why the enemy's fleet did not pass the three batteries - as they could have done in thirty minutes - is not to be accounted for, except upon their supposition that