War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0145 Chapter XX. BATTLE OF ROANOKE ISLAND, N.C.

Search Civil War Official Records

accounting for his absence by these orders, and Captain Bonton, of the Currituck, will await there for further orders.



SPECIAL ORDERS, HDQRS. FOURTH BRIGADE, DEPT OF NORFOLK, No. 13. Nag's Head, N. C., January 30, 1862.

The steam tug-boat Roanoke, Captain Hobbs,will proceed as early as practicable to the great bridge over the northern section of the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal, and there apply to Mr. Parks, the president of the canal company or his agent at that place, for a steam pile-driver and a steam dredging-machine, with their crews, to be employed on the defenses of Croatan and Roanoke Sounds. As soon as he can obtain them he will tow them to Roanoke Island, and report to me at Pork Point Battery for further orders. The brigade commissary,or his agent,will furnish the crews of the pile-driver and dredging-machine with rations for ten days; and if Captain Hobbs finds that either the pile-driver or the machine is ready and the other is not, and cannot be ready for two days or more, he will return immediately with the one which is ready,and report to me for further orders.



The next morning (January 31) I visited Roanoke Island, saw Colonel Shaw, and gave him special orders. The same day I returned to Nag's Head and fixed my quarters.

On the morning of February 1, early, I issued and distributed various orders of my own and of headquarters, when, about 9 a.m.., of that day, I was seized with a violent and acute attack of pleurisy,with high fever and spitting of blood, threatening pneumonia, from the bed of which I was taken and placed prostrate in a wagon late on the evening of the 8th instant, after the island was captured. I continued, however, to dictate all orders. The weather was one continual cold rain and high,and no work of consequence could be accomplished. I made,however, every disposition in my power.

I could not send to Colonel Shaw, as he requested,any field pieces of artillery, for mine had not arrived; but on the 4th I detailed Captain Schermerhorn and Lieutenant Kinney to report for duty to Colonel Shaw,for drilling and instructing in light artillery practice. Colonel Shaw had reported to me three field pieces of artillery - a 24-pounder, and 18-pounder Mexican piece, and a 12-pounder. I sent him from Norfolk a 5-pounder brass howitzer; but when I arrived there were but three pieces - the 24-pounder,the 18-pounder, and the 6-pounder. It is not yet explained to me how it came that there were but three pieces. For the 24-pounder and the 18-pounder there were no other ammunition than that for a 12-pounder.

On February 3 the Secretary of War addressed to me a letter, in reply to my appeals, of which the following is a copy:


Brigadier General HENRY A. WISE, Roanoke Island, N. C.

(Care of General Huger, Norfolk, Va.)

SIR: In response to your several letters, which it was not been in my power to answer separately, I now inform you that-

First. The North Carolina Battalion was ordered by me to report to you,and I suppose it is now with you.

Second. I ordered Captain Clement to muster into service his own company of cavalry and to join your command.

Third. In relation to the several commissions asked for your Legion, I beg leave to state what I have done can do, as follows, viz: