War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0326 OPERATIONS IN NORTH CAROLINA. Chapter XX.

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[Inclosure Numbers 2.]


April 20, 1862.

SIR: In the recent engagement near South Mills, owing to a lack of transportation, I was compelled to leave a few of my wounded under the charge of one of our surgeons. As it has been invariably our practice to release the Wounded on parole, I confidently anticipate that you will pursue the same course, in which case you will please inform Commodore Rowan at what time and place they can be received. I also request permission to remove the body of Lieutenant Gadsden, of the Ninth New York. The surgeon will point out the place of his interment.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, U. S. Army.


At Elizabeth City of at South Mills, N. C.


April 22, 1862.

GENERAL: I have learned but little from South Mills and Elizabeth City since my letter of yesterday. I have a dispatch from General Blanchard, from South Mills, dated yesterday. The enemy had returned to their boats and destroyed the bridges behind them on their retreat.

A small steamer came in last night and brought 1,100 pounds of powder, and I am informed we have collected a good many muskets and tools.

A diary and letter to his wife from one of the hand were picked up on the field of battle. He belonged to a Massachusetts regiment, and left New Berne under orders for a short expedition, embark on board the steamer Northerner, and was told by Colonel Clark they were to go via Roanoke Island to Elizabeth City and thence to blow up the locks to a canal from Norfolk, to prevent the rebels from coming down with their iron-clad steamers to destroy our fleet at New Berne. He said the rebels had two regiments and four cannon to guard the canal, and we would have five regiments and eight cannon to fight them, if they should fight. * * * We have been lying here near Roanoke Island pretty much all day, and the report is after dark we have got to land and march from 12 to 20 miles. Dated April 18.

The captured powder, other reports, and this letter confirm the opinion that their intention was to capture the forces at South Mills and destroy the locks of the canal to prevent our use of it. When they retire I will withdraw our troops, keeping only a guard at South Mills, and make Deep Creek the position for the main body to re-enforce them.


General R. E. LEE, Commanding.


Norfolk, Va., April 28, 1862.

GENERAL: I have received through Brigadier-General Blanchard, commanding Third Brigade, the reports of Cols. A. R. Wright and