War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0316 OPERATIONS IN NORTH CAROLINA. Chapter XX.

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I can see no reason for altering or suppressing my original remarks or indorsement. I therefore recommend that his original report, with my indorsement, be forwarded.




Roanoke Island, N. C., April 23, 1862.

SIR: Doubtless the unfortunate occurrence of the 19th has been brought fully to your notice. No one can regret the result more than myself. First, because of the loss of life; second, the object of the expedition not being accomplished after all the obstacles in our way had been removed. It seems that both parties were badly frightened. The enemy ran like quarter-horses toward Norfolk, and we as fast as our weary legs would carry us toward Roanoke, leaving quite a number of our wounded and destroying the bridges behind us. In this connection I will only add our retirement was discretion, our valor having been wholly spent on the field of battle. There is one satisfaction, that we whipped them in their own well-chosen position like the devil. They acknowledged to have had tree companies of the Georgia Third completely cut to pieces, and from this acknowledgment it is but fair to infer their loss was much greater. Their force, as near as I can ascertain, was the Georgia Third, 1,165 strong; a battery of Henningsen's artillery of four pieces, and some North Carolina Militia, number not known, and full squadron of Suffolk and Southampton cavalry. This statement of the enemy's forces I believe to be very nearly correct.

I most cordially join in the recommendations of the surgeons that the wounded be removed North as soon as possible, and that a steamer, made comfortable by the necessary beds, &c., be sent here for that purpose at the earliest moment. They can be of no service here and will recover much more rapidly at the North, besides relieving our surgeons, who are already worn-out by their arduous labors. Owing to the little wound received in my left arm in the affair of the 19th I am compelled, by the advice of surgeons, to lay up in ordinary for repairs, much against my desire or inclination. They say it will be eight weeks before I am fir for service. Under such circumstances, being forbidden to perform any labor, I would ask for leave of absence until such time as I am able to return to duty, which will be at the earliest possible moment. But still, if you cannot spare me, I will remain and render such service as I am able to perform lying on my back. I know and can dictate what ought to be done.

I should be very happy to see here, as I have much to say to you that I cannot write.

Most faithfully, your friend and servant,


Commanding Post.


Commanding Department of North Carolina.

NEW BERNE, N. C., April 24, 1862.

MY DEAR GENERAL: Foster showed me the letter of that infernal scoundrel Hawkins, and he and other rascals have been circulating