War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0155 Chapter XX. BATTLE OF ROANOKE ISLAND, N. C.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORFOLK,

Norfolk, Va., February 9, 1862.

To the SENIOR OFFICER,

Commanding any Troops at Currituck Bridge or Neighborhood:

SIR: I will dispatch a regiment to Currituck Bridge and the mouth of the canal as soon as possible. Obstruct the canal by any means in your power, and get the guns as the battery at the bridge in order. Powder will be sent with the troops for these guns. Order out the militia, and order all the citizens to protect the canal with shot-guns or what they can get.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

BENJ. HUGER,

Major-General, Commanding.

Send back the steamer Roanoke, with the four barges, at once.

By order of General Huger:

FRANK HUGER,

Captain, Aide-de-Camp.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORFOLK,

Norfolk, Va., February 9, 1862.

To the SENIOR OFFICER,

At Currituck or Neighborhood:

SIR: I am directed by the major-general commanding to give you the following instructions:

1. He will dispatch a regiment to Currituck Bridge and the mouth of the canal as soon as possible.

2. Obstruct the canal by any means in your power. Get the guns at the battery and at the bridge in order. Powder will be sent with the troops for these guns.

3. Order out the militia, and get all the citizens to protect the canal with shot-guns or what they can get.

4. Send back the steamer Roanoke, with the four barges.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

S. S. ANDERSON,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

On the 10th I addressed to General Huger a report in full, of which the following is a copy:

POPLAR BRANCH, CURRITUCK, N. C.,

February 10, 1862-9 a.m..

Major General B. HUGER, Commanding, &c.:

SIR: I was delayed in Norfolk for want of transportation until Wednesday, January 29, and arrived at Nag's Head on the night of Thursday (30th). My two regiments (the First and Second of the Legion, numbering seventeen companies and less than 800 men) had preceded my arrival, and for want of quarters on Roanoke Island occupied Nag's Head. It was absolutely necessary to maintain some sufficient force there to make and protect a ferry across the Roanoke Sound to the island to secure a comparatively safe depot for provisions, stores, &c., and to guard the beach against the landing of the enemy north of Oregon Inlet. We commenced immediately to procure lighters for the ferry, to repair the bridge, and to make a magazine. Early on Friday I visited Roanoke Island, meeting Colonel Shaw at Weir's Point. I gave him the necessary orders to forward the pile-driving, to construct breastworks at Suple's Hill, and to keep strong guards at Hommock,and Ashby's Landing on the south end of the island. A returned then to Nag's Head on Friday, and ordered every preparation there. At neither post were any tools to work with. No axes, shovels, spades, nails, &c., and requisitions had been made in vain for them both at Richmond and in Norfolk. Neither place had any teams, except two pairs of broken-down mules at the island and some weak and insufficient ox-carts. The consequence was that men had to carry everything on their shoulders, and no work could be accomplished, and in the evening of Friday a cold, hard rain and storm set in, which lasted until the evening of the 5th instant.

On the morning of Saturday the 1st instant, I was seized (while attending to duty) with a high fever, resulting in an acute attack of pleurisy, threatening pneumonia, from which I was unable to rise until late on the evening of the 8th instant, but from bed continued to issue orders and to dispatch preparations for the enemy, and on the morning of the 6th the enemy appeared off the southern end of the island. I immediately ordered ten companies (eight companies of the Second Regiment and two