War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0139 Chapter XX. BATTLE OF ROANOKE ISLAND, N.C.

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A portion of that regiment escaped to York River and Norfolk posts. The number of men would form two, perhaps three, good companies, but they consist of fragments of companies, under different company officers, who cannot or will not unite so as to form full companies, and it is certain that their regiment cannot be reconstructed or reformed. Most, if not all, of these men are assigned to the department of Major-General Huger, in which mine is the Fourth Brigade. Now, these men are natives of my native peninsula, are known to me, and I have a special regard for them, as I have reason to believe they have for me personally. I ask, by way of repairing the damage done to my Legion by taking from it fourteen companies, disbanding one, and nearly destroying two, in all seventeen companies, of which I have been deprived, that these companies may be transferred to my command. I will reorganize them into two or more companies, with the aid of some recruits, and then I propose that they may be discharged from their former service, on condition that they will elect their won company officers and enlist, for the war under the late law of Congress. This, I am authorized to say, meets the approbation of General Huger, who will recommend the transfer, and I trust the whole proposition will be at once adopted by you.

Most respectfully,

HENRY A. WISE,

Brigadier-General.

Instead of complying with this request to first transfer them to my command and then to allow them to be mustered out of service on condition that they would re-enlist, the Department ordered that they should first be mustered out of service, and then left it to their option to join my command or not. The consequence was, they were mustered out of service and were entirely disbanded and scattered.

From January 19 to the 22nd, at Richmond, I was actively and constantly employed in issuing orders and an urging the forwarding of my artillery and other remaining corps of the Legion.

Dr. Thomas D. Warren, of Edenton, N. C.,an active and efficient patriot, having tendered to me his services as a volunteer aide, on January 21 I addressed to him a letter of which the following is a copy:

RICHMOND, VA., January 21, 1862.

Dr. Thomas D. WARREN:

DEAR SIR: Yours of the 17th instant is just received here. You are ordered to be announced as one of my volunteer aides. You will order Colonel Shaw, from me, to have the piles sent for as early as as fast as possible. You can always get a vessel at Elizabeth City. If the piles cannot be driven fast enough he will sink vessels. If the price is too high (the demanded price), he will have them appraised, and at all events will sink enough to obstruct the channels at material points next the piling, taking all he can get for that purpose;and if all are not necessary to be used, he will use first the lowest price vessels. You will see to his, taking post at Edenton and superintending transportation and supplies.

Hastily, yours,

HENRY A. WISE,

Brigadier-General.

Previously I had send Captain Bolton and Lieutenant Bagwell to Roanoke Island, to superintend the pile-driving and to sound the channels of Croatan and Roanoke Sounds. They were ordered on this duty January 15.

On January 22, in reply to all urgent appeals for the means of defense, I received the order of which the following is a copy:

SPECIAL ORDERS,

ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENL'S OFFICE, No. 17.

Richmond, Va., January 22, 1862.

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XXXII. Brigadier General Henry A. Wise, Provisional Army, will immediately proceed to Roanoke Island, N. C., and assume command of the Confederate States troops at that place.

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By command of the Secretary of War:

JNO. WITHERS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.