War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0125 Chapter XX. BATTLE OF ROANOKE ISLAND, N.C.

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of two rifled 32-pounders, so mounted as to give a wide command, and to so obstruct the two channels of the sound to compel the enemy, should he attempt to pass, to come within easy range of all the guns. (By reference to the map you will see that this battery is not in connection with the others, and can receive no support from either of them.) I also thought, and still think, that it ws necessary to obstruct the sound on a line between Weir's Point Battery (Fort Hunger) and the floating battery. To that end I directed an agent in Norfolk to call on commodore Forrest and urge him to send out a steam pike-driver. He agreed to send it, and it was to have been here some time since, but up to this time it has not arrived. I have been very much surprised to hear it has been delayed, because the men desire to have their Christmas holidays. If the plan of obstructing the sound shall meet your approval, I hope you will have the pile-driver in question, and another, if to be obtained, sent out without the least delay. Had this work been undertaken early in the fall it would have been comparatively light, but at this season of the year more than three working days in the week on an average cannot safely be counted on.

I beg leave respectfully to suggest that a competent engineer officers be sent here to examine the works with a view to such alterations and additions as may be found necessary.

I would also that a naval officer of intelligence and experience be sent here to give instructions at the several batteries in artillery practice.

The statement Wilson, employed for the use of this station, is now, by reason of the carelessness of the captain, ashore were, without any immediate assurance of her being gotten afloat. She will be greatly needed as a tender to the pile-drivers. Permit me to request that you call upon the owner to dismiss the captain and put a more competent man in his place.

The supply of ammunition at this post is altogether insufficient. I hope you will authorize the requisition I have sent by Major Williamson to be filled at once. Major Williamson is an officer of intelligence and high character, and will give you any further information you may desire in regard to this post.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. M. SHAW,

Colonel, Commanding the Forces on Roanoke Island.

[3.]

HEADQUARTERS FORCES ON ROANOKE ISLAND, Camp Raleigh, December 30, 1861.

General HUGER,

Commanding Department of Norfolk:

GENERAL: I have to request that you will cause to be returned to this post two 6-pounder boat howitzers, lately taken away by Colonel A. R. Wright, formerly commanding on Roanoke Island. I deem it very necessary that we should have those pieces or others a similar character, and I earnestly hope they will be promptly returned.

I have to report to you, moreover, that one large flat, one two-mast flat-boat, and some five canoes were carried away by Colonel Wright. These flats and canoes were taken in the expedition to Chicamacomico; were of considerable value, and would be of great service at this post. I beg leave to call your attention to the matter, hoping they will be restored.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. M. SHAW,

Colonel, Commanding on Roanoke Island.

[4.]

HEADQUARTERS OF THE FORCES ON ROANOKE ISLAND, Camp Raleigh, December 30, 1861.

General HUGER,

Commanding Department of Norfolk:

GENERAL: I beg leave to represent to you the necessity of having this post constantly supplied with at least four week's rations for the entire command of about 1,800 men. Should the enemy unfortunately our little navy and get above the batteries, they might, by cutting off our supplies, forces us to yield the place without having had the ability to strike a single blow.

This command is now being supplied by a commissary officer (Major S. T.. Sawyer)` stationed, by order of General Gatlin, at Elizabeth City, but the supplies come in very small quantities.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. M. SHAW,

Colonel, Commanding Roanoke Island.