picket at the latter, and ordered that, upon the appearance of the enemy, the bridge should be let down,and a schooner all ready to be sunk, so as to obstruct the creek upward.
To-morrow morning I will dispatch him with a detachment of cavalry to procure teams, and have our stores hauled to a place of safety. If the enemy approach to seize them, orders were given to destroy them. This morning, upon her arrival from below, I dispatched the tug Currituck with a flag of truce, in charge of Major Duffield and Captain Robinson, to Roanoke Island, to inquire for killed and wounded; to take clothing and other comforts to the latter, and, if possible, to obtain the bodies of Captains Wise and Coles and Lieutenant Selden, and get all the information they could. I expect the tug back to-morrow evening.
It is reported that Colonel Henningsen, with my artillery, has moved toward Edenton. I shall order him back. He is needed both at South Mills and here. I beg you to order him to join me at Currituck Court-House or Indiantown. I trust also that you will urge the forwarding of my cavalry-they are very much needed to head these streams-with dispatch, and there is a vast amount of forage to supply them which cannot be got to market and is in danger of being taken by the enemy. My artillery and cavalry are needed to prevent the enemy from landing and from reaching Currituck Court-House from Elizabeth City or South Mills and from cutting us off. Indeed, the cavalry is indispensable on these peninsulas.
I thank you, sir, gratefully for the leave, after organizing my forces, to return home for the sake of my health. Providence sharply prohibited me from sharing the fate of my brave, devoted troops, but I can sit in my saddle now. I am happier at the post of duty than I could be at a home now wailing for its best scion, cut down in its full vigor; and, God willing, I never mean to leave the remnant of my men again until I see them recruited again and proudly reanimated. I humbly think that now I may ask your co-operation in building up a corps which more than attempted to obey your orders to be cool, to work,and to fight hard. They have done so nobly and devotedly up to the muzzle, to wounds, captivity, and death, against such odds only as were irresistible by their numbers.
With great respect, your obedient servant,
HENRY A. WISE,
On February 11 I detailed William G. Wilson, esq., of Indian Ridge, Currituck, with a sufficient force of laborers to cut trees across the Indiantown Creek and otherwise obstruct it by all the means in his power 4 miles below the creek bridge. On the 11th also I sent a flag of truce to the enemy, to obtain the bodies of officers killed in action and to ascertain the number of killed and wounded and to take comforts to the latter. Our killed and wounded; the former number they admitted.
On the 12th I received orders from the War Department showing that my cavalry was sent to Garysburg. Not a company of mine has joined my command in this district.
February 13 General Huger addressed to me the following:
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORFOLK,
February 11, 1862.
I have received your letter of the 11th. I am glad to hear you are recovering. I will inform you further what I can do on the several subjects you mention when I get a little more certain information. Captain Tabb reported to me a few days ago,and not being able at this time to forward him to you, I ordered him to collect all the stragglers of your Legion, officers and men, and require transportation and forward them to you. Every one who can is escaping to this town, and I desire to get them back to their duty as soon as possible. Shall I continue Captain Tabb on this service? At this time I have no report from any company of cavalry of your command, and I do not know exactly where Colonel Henningsen is. I hear he is moving toward South Mills. This separation of your troops was one reason why I thought you might assist in collecting and reorganizing them, and I leave it to your judgment at what point you can be most usefully employed. Provisions for ten days for 300 men have been sent to-day.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,