War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0184 OPERATIONS IN NORTH CAROLINA. Chapter XX.

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defenses of that portion of said State lying between Albemarle Sound and the Neuse River and Pamlico Sound, including those waters, and was directed to report to Brigadier-General Gatlin. On November 16 Brigadier General L. O'B. Branch was directed to relieve Brigadier-General Hill in command of his district in North Carolina. On December 21 that part of North Carolina east of the Chowan River, together with the counties of Washington and Tyrrel, was, at the request of the proper authorities of North Carolina,separated from the remainder and constituted into a military district, under Brigadier General H. A. Wise, and attached to the command of Major-General Huger, commanding the Department of Norfolk. At the time, therefore, of the surrender of Roanoke Island, on February 8, 1862, it was within the military district of Brigadier-General Wise, and attached to the command of Major-General Huger.

The military defenses of Roanoke Island and its adjacent waters, on the said February 8, 1862, consisted of Fort Bartow, the most southern of the defenses on the west side of the island-a sand fort, well covered with turf, having six long 32-pounder guns in embrasure and three 32-pounders en barbette. The next is Fort Blanchard on the same side of the island, about 2 1/2 miles from Fort Bartow-a semicircular sand fort, turfed, and mounting four 32-pounders en barbette. Next, on the same side and about 1,200 yards from Fort Blanchard, is Fort Huger. This is a turfed sand fort, running along the line of the beach, and closed in the rear by a low breastwork, with a banquette for infantry. It contained eight 32-pounder guns in embrasure, two rifled 32-pounders en barbette,a and two small 32 pounders en barbette on the right.

About 3 miles below Fort Bartow, on the east side of the island, was a battery of two 32-pounder guns en barbette, at a point known as Midgett's Hommock. In the center of the island, about 2 miles from Fort Bartow and a mile from Midgett's Hommock, was a redoubt, or breastwork, thrown across the road, about 70 or 80 feet long, with embrasures for three guns, on the right of which was a swamp, on the left a marsh, the redoubt reaching nearly between them and facing to the south. On the Tyrrel side, on the main-land, nearly opposite to Fort Huger, was Fort Forrest, mounting seven 32-pounders.

In addition to these defenses on the shore and on the island there was a barrier of piles, extending from the east side of Fulker Shoals toward the island. Its object was to compel vessels passing on the west of the island to approach within reach of the shore batteries, but up to February 8 there was a span of 1,700 yards open opposite to Fort Bartow. Some vessels had been sunk and piles driven on the west side of Fulker Shoals, to obstruct the channel between that shoal and the main-land, which comprise all the defenses either upon the land or in the waters adjacent.

The entire military force stationed upon the island prior to and at the time of the late engagement consisted of the Eighth Regiment of North Carolina State troops, under the command of Colonel H. M. Shaw; the Thirty-first Regiment of North Carolina Volunteers, under the command of Colonel J. V. Jordan, and three companies of the Seventeenth North Carolina troops, under the command of Major G. H. Hill. After and 200 of them were upon the sick list.

On the evening of February 7 Brigadier-General Wise sent from Nag's Head, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Anderson, a re-enforcement numbering some 450 men. This does not include the commands of Lieutenant-Colonel Green and Major Fry, both of whom