War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0121 Chapter XX. BATTLE OF ROANOKE ISLAND, N.C.

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due preparations had been made at the north of the island, as they found none at the south end. They accordingly ceased firing at insignificant batteries. General Huger's concluding remark under this head forgets his reasoning for the word "disingenuous." There he says but three guns were brought to bear, because the enemy selected a position in which only three guns did bear on them. Here he says that from that position the battery "was exposed to a heavy fire." Then the enemy did fire a heavy fire upon the battery from a position on which but three or four guns could be brought to bear. Material injury was done to the earthworks of the battery. It was materially knocked down by the first day's bombardment, and the night of that day (the 7th) it had to be rebuilt. For proof of this I refer you to Lieutenants Bagwell and Bolton, who are now in this city.

Third. General Huger supposes I meant him and the War Department by the words "my superiors." I meant and mean every superior of every grade and position at all responsible for the lack of defenses at Roanoke Island. I did all I could with the means and facilities allowed to me by them. He coupled himself swimmingly with the War Department. I separate them for the purpose of my remarks on his remarks. He says "we could not control time, weather, or sickness." I say emphatically that he could have taken time by the forelock, which we never did. That he might have worked while the sun shined and not have left everything to be done and undone, too, in the winter's weather of Hatteras; and if he had promptly aided me, as he ought to have done, with men and munitions of war, I could, while in good health, have been preparing at Roanoke Island, and might have saved my command, if it had not been grossly neglected up to the time I was prostrated by a severe illness and up to the arrival of the enemy. Thus, in a very rational sense correlatively with his own use of terms, he might have controlled "time, weather, and sickness." I could not control my command even under his orders. He says that he does not know what available preparation asked for by me could have been made by my superiors. He does know. He has, I believe, now in his hands my letter to the Secretary of War reporting the causes of the disaster at Roanoke Island. It was delivered here by Major William B. Stanard on March 1 instant, and the original was forwarded by the Department to him "for his remarks."

That will fully inform the committee of what was asked and what was not allowed. I intended to "accuse" General Huger of nothing! nothing!! nothing!!! That was the disease which brought disaster at Roanoke Island. My purpose is only to fully reply to the committee's inquiries and to his imputations.

Respectfully,

HENRY A. WISE,

Brigadier-General.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORFOLK, April 5, 1862.

General S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General:

SIR: I return to the Secretary of War "a voluminous document (143 pages), which he sent me for my examination and remarks, stating "Brigadier-General Wise had forwarded this as a report from him direct to the Secretary, instead of sending it through me; that this report