Fleet, and really the enemy did not take time to brush it away while he was bombarding the batteries. If fought bravely and well for its size and construction, but had to run into a trap, where, when pursued, it was nearly destroyed. My only complaint of Captain Lynch is that he was superserviceable and overzealous; grasped at too much command and meddled too much with mine. But this complaint would never have been made by me against so gallant and patriotic an officer except in response to what I deem his injustice to me. I beg that you, sir, will forward this letter, or a copy, to the Secretary of War and President of the Confederate States. As Captain Lynch gave me no notice of his letter, but sent it to this Department, I follow his example by sending this to my Department without notice to him.
With great respect, your obedient servant,
HENRY A. WISE,
On February 5 I ordered requisition to be made for free negro laborers, under the laws of North Carolina, and I required report from Colonel Shaw of the number of men stationed at each of the batteries on Roanoke Island and on the Tyrrel shore, &c. He reported to me on the 7th but 803 men left for infantry duty.
On the 5th I ordered Colonel Henningsen to send my artillery horses to Gallop's Ferry,and to transport them thence by the beach to Nag's Head. The guns were to be left at Elizabeth City, whither he had gone, until I could tow them to Roanoke Island.
On February 6, at 4 p.m.., I dispatched Lieutenant R. A. Wise to General Huger with my letter of that date,of which the following is a copy:
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH BRIGADE DEPARTMENT OF NORFOLK, Camp at Nag's Head, February 6, 1862.
Commanding Department of Norfolk:
SIR: I messenger from Colonel H. M. Shaw, commanding at Roanoke Island, has just arrived (10 p.m..), bearing a dispatch, of which I have the honor to inclose you a copy, by order of General Wise. The officer who brought the dispatch reports that he saw four steamers, about 9 a.m.. this day, which had passed the marshes, going up Croatan Sound. He likewise brings information that Captain Cook, C. S. Navy, reported seven steamers in sight about the same hour. The general directs me to request that steam-tugs, with lighters suited fro the transportation of troops between the island and the beach, may be forwarded as early as practicable.
General Wise has been very sick since Friday last, from a violent attack of pneumonia. He is better to-day, but unable to leave his bed. He is, however, issuing orders, and will do everything in his power, with the means at his command, to repel the advance of the enemy. It is very much to be regretted that the means of communication between the island and beach are so limited and insufficient at this time.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. B. DUFFIELD,
On February 6, also, I dictated an order to Colonel Shaw,of which the following is a copy:
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH BRIGADE, DEPARTMENT OF NORFOLK, Camp at Nag's Head, February 6, 1862.
Colonel H. M. SHAW, Commanding, &c., Roanoke Island:
COLONEL: Your dispatch dated 2.30 o'clock, inclosing report of Lieutenant Loyall, has been delivered by Lieutenant Simmons. I am directed by the general to say in reply that you will obtain reports from the pickets at Pugh's and Ashby's Landings. You will move all your field pieces to the points commanding these two landings and divide them between the two at your discretion. The general, however, recommends that you place two at Ashby's and the like number at Pugh's. You will move the whole of your infantry, except what is ample for the batteries, stationing one-third at Pugh's, one third at Ashby's, and the remaining third at the breastworks called Suple's Hill. If the enemy attempt to land at Pugh's the force at Ashby's will re-enforce that at Pugh's, and fight every inch of ground at the water's edge, as long as prudence will permit. Under no circumstances fail to save your field pieces, retiring them first always and covering their withdrawal with the infantry.