War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0123 Chapter XX. BATTLE OF ROANOKE ISLAND, N.C.

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In reply I received from the Secretary of War a letter of which the following is a copy:

CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, War Department, Richmond, Va., November 23, 1861.

Brigadier General HENRY A. WISE,

Rolliston, near Norfolk, Va.:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 18th instant, and am happy to learn that you have been restored to health.

As soon as we are informed of the movements of the enemy consequent upon General Floyd's withdrawal from Cotton Hill orders will be issued in regard to your Legion. Until then, however, it will be impossible to decide.

I have the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN,

Secretary of War.

On December 4, 1861, the following Special Orders, No. 254, extract IV, was issued:

ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL'S OFFICE, Richmond, Va., December 4, 1861.

Brigadier General HENRY A. WISE,

(Through General Henningsen:)

SPECIAL ORDERS,

254.

* * * * * *

IV. The Wise Legion, under the command of Colonel J. Lucius Davis, will repair to Richmond, Va., by the nearest railroad route, and report to Brigadier-General Winder, commanding Department of Henrico.

* * * * * *

By command of the Secretary of War:

JNO. WITHERS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

By Special Orders, No. 272, dated December 21, 1861, from the Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, I was assigned to the command of the military district composed of that part of North Carolina east of the Chowan River, together with the counties of Washington and Tyrrel, designated ad the Fourth Brigade, Department of Norfolk. I immediately, from Richmond, ordered Colonel J. L. Davis, who was in command of my Legion in Western Virginia, to move with all the forces, arms, ammunition, and equipments, of the Legion under his orders to Richmond and report to me.

I then returned home, to prepare for assuming the command assigned me. Again, on January 1 last, I addressed to Colonel J. Lucius Davis a letter of which the following is a copy:

ROLLISTON, NEAR NORFOLK, VA., January 1, 1862.

Colonel J. LUCIUS DAVIS, Commanding, &c.:

SIR: General Huger thinks it important that the Legion should reach its place of operation and of quarters as early as convenient and practicable; that the troops should come on to Norfolk, and that the quartermaster and commissary of my brigade should precede the troops to Norfolk, in order to arrange quarters and rations before-hand with the quartermaster and commissary of his division. To these ends, then, you will issue the following orders:

That Quartermaster Cleary and Commissary Thomas will proceed to Norfolk immediately, and report either to General Huger or to myself, in order to arrange for quarters and rations with the quartermaster and commissary of the division; that Lieutenant-Colonel Richardson will proceed, as early as practicable, with the Eighteenth Regiment of Infantry, to Norfolk, procure transportation from the Quartermaster-General, and report either to me, or, if absent, to General Huger; that Colonel Henningsen will, as early as practicable after the Eighteenth Regiment of Infantry