War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0140 OPERATIONS IN NORTH CAROLINA. Chapter XX.

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I immediately replied by letter, of which the following is a copy:

RICHMOND, VA., January 22, 1862.

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

SIR: Your order of to-day, to "immediately proceed to Roanoke Island, N. C., and assume command of the Confederate States troops at that place," is received. I will proceed immediately, as commanded; but it is just to myself to say that I had proceeded heretofore to Roanoke Island and assumed command, but finding no adequate preparations whatever to meet an enemy at that place I hastened on to Richmond, to forward that portion of my Legion remaining here and to obtain necessary authority to procure the means of defense.

I am without an ordnance officer or an assistant inspector-general, and various requisitions are delayed here, so that my artillery cannot be forwarded.

I beg respectfully that the Department will expedite the forwarding of my troops and furnish them with the actual necessities of the service.

With great respect, your obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE,

Brigadier-General.

The next day (January 23) I returned to Norfolk, and hastened home to prepare to execute the order of the 22nd, which was peremptory, and left me to election but to go to Roanoke Island, assume command of that post, and defend it as best I could with or without men or means.

In reply to my order to Lieutenant-Colonel Green to report to me as early as practicable, he informed me that he had been detained by Brigadier General J. R. Anderson at Wilmington until he could get information from the Secretary of War whether to obey my order or not. I immediately, on January 25, sent him an order of which the following is a copy:

ROLLISTON, NEAR NORFOLK, VA., January 25, 1862.

W. J. GREEN, Lieutenant-Colonel,&c.:

SIR: I did not, of course, issue orders to you without conferring with the Secretary of War before you were sent to Wilmington as part of my Legion to recruit, and since when I was ordered to North Carolina. In both instances you were acknowledge as part of my Legion, subject to my orders. I therefore report to you the order to at once move from Wilmington to Norfolk, and thence to Roanoke Island, where you will report to me in person.

Your obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE,

Brigadier-General.

I also the same day addressed a letter to the Secretary of War of which the following is a copy:

NEAR NORFOLK, VA., January 25, 1862.

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

SIR: I am detained here by stress of weather and want of transportation to Roanoke Island. To-morrow, probably, or next day, I depart for that post. To-day Lieutenant Colonel Wharton J. Green reports from Wilmington, N. C.., that on reporting to General Anderson my orders to Colonel Green to move to Roanoke Island, General Anderson, commanding the Cape Fear District, objected, until he could communicate with the Secretary of War. I beg that you will at once inform General Anderson that Colonel Green's command was sent to Wilmington simply to winter and to recruit; that they belong to my brigade (the Legion), and that they are essential to the defense of Roanoke Island;a more important point than Wilmington. This hindrance at this time is annoying and might prove fatal. Colonel Green reports to me seven companies, and the probable completion of his regiment in a week from the 23rd instant. I have repeated my orders to him to move to Roanoke Island via Norfolk. I hope you will promptly sustain me in this.

With the highest respect, your obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE,

Brigadier-General.