War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0154 OPERATIONS IN NORTH CAROLINA. Chapter XX.

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On yesterday our men fought with deliberate coolness. All the work that could be has been performed in the time allowed us. The commissary reports that large supplies are on the way. The only want to enable us to drive back the enemy and hold the island is that of more men.

Since the above was written the fighting has recommenced. The enemy's bombardment commenced this morning at 8.47 o'clock with apparent vigor and continued until 9.15 o'clock. Contemporaneously, and since the cessation of the cannonading, volleys of musketry, with the discharges of field artillery, have been distinctly heard from the island. The smoke and firing receding toward the south end of the island, accompanied by cheers, supposed to be from our men, seem to indicate that the enemy are being driven back in that direction.

A steamer is reported as having arrived at the island during the night with troops, supposed to be Colonel Green's regiment; if so, this will furnish, in addition to the four companies sent from this post this day, a re-enforcement of eleven companies since my last dispatch.

The general further instructs me to say that he very deeply regrets that the change made by you of the orders given by him for the transportation of his artillery has entirely deprived him on this occasion of that arm of service.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Assistant Adjutant-General.

On February 8 General Huger addressed to me a letter of which the following is a copy:


Norfolk, Va., February 8, 1862-11 a.m..

Brigadier-General WISE, or COMMANDING OFFICER:

Lieutenant Smith has just arrived with your dispatch of yesterday, reporting the attack of the enemy. He reports that firing continued till dark.

The Arrow is just going off, and I write a line. I have no time to send anything by her.

As the firing was stopped by dark, I count the enemy did no damage to signify. Long shot will not destroy batteries. If we keep cool and serve the guns well, light gunboats will get hurt. Stand to the guns. I may communicate later by land.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,



On February 9 General Huger addressed to me the following:


Norfolk, Va., February 9, 1862.

Brigadier-General WISE,

Commanding Fourth Brigade:

GENERAL: I have your letter of the 8th. I have ordered the only boat left here to be got ready at once. I will have ammunition to go on board, and consult Commodore Forrest as to what he can send. I hope to hear soon what more I can do. I consider every hour you hold out as most favorable to us.

I send Lieutenant Smith back, and have placed a company of cavalry along the route to Powell's Point to carry dispatches.

You are in error when you say Colonel Henningsen was diverted from following the route your ordered him to take by me. I gave him no order, but not to send one company by the beach, as your ordered. In all other respects he was to obey your orders.

Your obedient servant,



P. S.-I much regret to hear of your sickness. It is really unfortunate.

In correcting my error General Huger admits that he did change my orders to Colonel Henningsen, and that change did divert him from his true course, and prevented my artillery from arriving at all at Roanoke Island.

On the 9th also the following orders were addressed to me: