War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0157 Chapter XX. BATTLE OF ROANOKE ISLAND, N. C.

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owing to having ammunition for 12-pounders only. The Pork Point Battery is said to have discharged every round of ammunition but one. Twenty of the enemy's steamers are said to have passed up the sound yesterday evening, and this morning we hear heavy firing toward Elizabeth City, where it is feared Captain Lynch's fleet retired.

I regret to say that the vessels, with our provisions on board for thirty days, which escaped in safety from Roanoke Island, went to Elizabeth City, and will there, I fear, be taken, unless they can escape by the Dismal Swamp Canal. I am now here with three companies of my First Regiment and about 150 men who escaped and about 200 militia without arms or ammunition. I have called in all their spades, shovels, and tools of all sorts for obstructing the canal. My ordnance officer, Lieutenant Pearce, passed on to Norfolk with many of my ordnance stores, which I hope you will have returned to me and order him to return with them. I await anxiously all the re-enforcements you can send me, and beg you will furnish provisions for, say, 300 men.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE,

Brigadier-General.

On February 11 General Huger addressed to me the following:

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORFOLK,

Norfolk, Va., February 11, 1862.

General HENRY A. WISE, Currituck Bridge:

GENERAL: I received this morning your letter from Poplar Springs yesterday. I hope you met Colonel Corprew, with the Sixth Regiment Virginia Volunteers, at Currituck Bridge. I regret you had suffered from so severe an attack of illness. I would recommend you as soon as you have organized your forces to place them under command of Colonel Corprew, and return home and get your health re-established.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

BENJ. HUGER,

Major-General.

FEBRUARY 11, 1862.-11 a.m..

No further news from Elizabeth City or South Mills. I have sent a battery of artillery and re-enforcements down there.

B. H.

On the same day I replied as follows:

CANAL BRIDGE, N. C., February 11, 1862.

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

SIR: I wrote my report under such inconvenient circumstances that I omitted to add that, on the second day of the bombardment the enemy on the 8th instant, opened about 9 a.m..; fired irregularly for an hour and ceased. They opened again about 12 m., and fired for about half an hour and ceased.

The fight with small-arms was continued by the men of my Legion all the day of the 8th, and they renewed the fight again on the 9th. I am now convinced that the defense would have been made better if the troops which had been posted there had been removed out of the way entirely. Colonel Shaw ordered retreat before he was justified in doing so, and Colonel Jordan's Thirty-first Regiment was hardly in the fight at all, and he demoralized them by ordering them to take care of themselves while they in reserve, and they were never led into the action at all. He is said to have escaped, to be in Norfolk or Portsmouth, and, if so, I ask for his arrest. Colonel Shaw is a prisoner. Colonel Corprew arrived this evening between 3 and 4 o'clock with five companies.

I have obstructed the canal by sinking one old barge across the North River end of it, and will add more obstructions, as the enemy now have the dredging-machine which was taken to Roanoke Island, and may remove easily any ordinary obstructions. I shall try to obstruct the channels at the Narrows of the Currituck Sound, also at Poplar Spring. The militia have been called out, but they have but few indifferent arms and no ammunition. I will feed those who will work efficiently, and send the rest home. They are, in fact, in the way.

Yesterday I sent my official aide, Captain Bacon, and a volunteer, Captain Doland, to Elizabeth City. They were there last night and have just returned, reporting that about two-thirds of the town is burned, and fourteen heavy war steamers are lying off Cobb's Point. The inhabitants have all left and burned the town themselves. Several schooners, with the provisions sent to Roanoke Island a large supply, are lying up Sawyer's Creek, about 8 miles above the floating bridge. Captain Bacon stationed a