War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0168 OPERATIONS IN NORTH CAROLINA. Chapter XX.

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these reports show that these three guns did repel their whole fleet, and, though the battery was exposed to a heavy fire, no material injury was done to the battery.

Third. The closing remark, "I did all that time, weather, sickness, and my superiors would permit in the way of preparations, and none whatever available were made." The War Department and myself must be the superiors alluded to. We could not control time, weather, or sickness, but what available preparations asked for by General Wise that could be made by his superiors and refused him I do not know and they are not stated by him. I intended and endeavored to do all in my power to aid and assist him, and am not aware in what particular he intends to accuse me of thwarting him.

Respectfully submitted.

BENJ. HUGER,

Major-General, Commanding.

WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A.,

Richmond, Va., March 14, 1862.

Brigadier General HENRY A. WISE, Norfolk, Va.:

SIR: I received on the 7th instant your letter covering copies of the reports of your subordinate officers of the affair at Roanoke Island and immediately called on General Huger for the report, which ought regularly to come through him to this Department.

In return, I learn from General Huger that you have made no report through him, and from your letter to him it seems that you propose to furnish him also copies of the reports of your subordinates. I am much disappointed at the delay which has occurred. Congress is impatient for these reports, and the delay is occasioned by the informality of your proceedings, doubtless entirely unintentional. Under the regulations it is necessary that you should make to General Huger your report of the affair at Roanoke Island, inclosing the original of the reports of your subordinates. You may indorse on these originals or annex to them any remarks you please. General Huger will then forward to me all the originals, including your report, and will indorse on it whatever remarks he thinks proper, and thus the Department will be able to communicate to Congress complete information of what is said by all the officers. The originals of all reports belong to the archives of this office, and when you sent me copies I supposed it was a mere measure of precaution after sending the originals through General Huger. Your letter to him, of which a copy has been forwarded to me, discloses the fact that you retain the originals, and that he has never seen either originals or copies. I beg your most prompt attention to the forwarding now of all these reports in proper form. I have received two calls for them from Congress, and could not, till I received the last letter of General Huger, comprehend the cause of the delay.

Your communication of February 21 was also received by me, but its very great deal which ought to have passed through General Huger for his remarks, and have therefore sent it to him.

Permit me, however, to call your attention to the fact that it is not necessary in an official report to copy into its next documents and letters. They may be appended if necessary. The vast length of your report of the 21st is mainly due to this fact, and the brief moments