War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0135 Chapter XX. BATTLE OF ROANOKE ISLAND, N.C.

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General Orders, No. 50, shall be strictly observed. General Orders, No. 65, calls my attention to General Orders, No. 46, dated August 1, 1861, of which I have no copy and am not informed. I ask a copy, in order that it may be promptly obeyed. Are these orders explained by the letter of the Assistant Adjutant-General of January 9 instant?

Very respectfully, &c.,

HENRY A. WISE,

Brigadier-General.

On the 15th I again addressed to General Huger a letter of which the following is a copy:

NEAR NORFOLK, VA., January 15, 1862.

Major-General HUGER, Commanding, &c.:

SIR: I ordered Lieutenant Bagwell to procure a boat, with oars, from the navy-yard fit for sounding the channels of Croatan Sound. He made the within request informally on his friend Captain Lee to save time, expecting to observe official forms afterward. It is absolutely necessary to have a boat belonging to the army, to be immediately and constantly in the sounding service for weeks. It may be sent with the First Regiment of my Legion (just arrived). I beg, therefore, that you will approve of my request to Flag-Officer F. Forrest, to order a proper boat, oars, &c., to be transferred to the army for my command.

There are two brass boat howitzers, mounted as field pieces, as the navy-yard, which Captains Lee and Fairfax (in the absence of Flag-Officer Forrest, with the consent of Captain Lynch) said might be allowed to the commands of Captain Lynch and myself. Captain Lynch agrees that I might have one of them, and the two carriages, harness, &c., for my command, while he would take the other for his boats. They are the gun returned to the navy-yard by Colonel Wright from Roanoke Island; and there are also two 12-pounder guns, which Captain Lee and Fairfax said could be spared to the army, and which can be mounted soon in the yard. Will you please approve of my requisition on the flag-officer for these three guns, carriages, &c., and apprise him thereof. The brass howitzers and two carriages are ready now,and I ask that they may be obtained in tine to be sent down with my First Regiment of Infantry.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE,

Brigadier-General.

On the same day I ordered Colonel W. J. Green as follows:

NORFOLK, VA., January 15, 1862.

Colonel WHARTON J. GREEN, Commanding, &c.:

SIR: You will as early as practicable move your whole force from Wilmington, N. C., to Norfolk, Va., and there report to General Huger for transportation to Roanoke Island. Bring with your men all the outfit which you can procure at Wilmington, and make requisitions at Norfolk for deficiencies. Prompt movement is necessary, as the enemy are near in large force.

HENRY A. WISE,

Brigadier-General.

I returned from Roanoke Island to Norfolk on January 11, and on the 15th addressed to the Secretary of War a letter of which the following is a copy:

NEAR NORFOLK, VA., January 15, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, &c.:

Yours of the 12th, in reply to mine of the 2nd instant, is just received. I am sure you will not adjudge me importunate when I inform you that I returned from Roanoke Island to Norfolk last Saturday. I hastened back, after a short reconnaissance, to apprise headquarters and the Department that there are no defense there; no adequate preparations whatever to meet the enemy, and to forward all the means in my reach as speedily as possible to make they key of all the rear of Norfolk, with its canals and railroads, safe. Inside of Hatteras Inlet I found twenty-four vessels of light draught, eight of which, at least, are steamers, said to carry four guns each. They are, at farthest, but 30 miles from Roanoke Island, and can reach there in four hours or less, to attack five small gunboats under Captain Lynch and four small