War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0365 Chapter XX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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fences, taking furniture and food from houses, killing stock, &c., but in no case has personal violence or indignities been offered. I have ordered an investigation to be made, and find the amount of damage done will not exceed $2,000, and this includes the stock killed for food, which seemed to be almost a necessity, as many of the troops were entirely out of rations after the battle and it was impossible to land subsistence stores that night in consequence of the storm. In every instance these irregularities were committed on places that had been temporarily deserted, the occupants having fled to distant parts of the island. I have ordered payment for these damages to be made to those who seem well disposed to our Government and have taken the oath of allegiance. These islanders as a body are ignorant and inoffensive, and I am quite sure have not aided in this rebellion more than they were forced to do by the forces that were quartered upon them, and which has left them in a very destitute condition, impressing their horses and cattle, eating their provisions, giving them in return worthless shin-plasters. They have also been prevented from fishing, which constitutes their chief sources of living, from fear of their visiting our port of Hatteras Inlet with information of the strength and movements of the enemy at this place. I have given them protection and granted them permission to pursue their work unmolested. They seem to be delighted at the arrival of our troops, and nearly every man on the island has taken the oath of allegiance, as well as large numbers from the neighborhood of Nag's Head, Powell's Point, and many from the main-land. In cases of absolute want of food among the women and children subsistence stores have been issued. This, I trust, will meet the approval of the General Commanding.

Our troops are fast improving the roads on the island, and have materially improved in point of cleanliness and comfort the winter barracks, camp grounds, and hospitals. A wharf some 500 feet long has been built at Pork Point Battery out to 8-foot water, on which we can readily embark our troops and land our stores, &c. All the guns of the forts, with two exceptions, have been unspiked and their carriages repaired. Cartridges have been made, and the forts are now in good condition. All of this work has been superintended by Lieutenant D. w. Flagler, who has proved himself a most competent ordnance officer. Small-arms and equipments have been boxed and stored, an inventory of which will be forwarded with this report. Advantage has been taken of the few days' rest here to repair several fo our vessels and to clean out their boilers, &c. The health of the command is excellent. The wounded are all doing well under the unwearied attention of the medical staff, which has proved itself all that could be desired. The troops are encamped by brigades, the commanders of which are perfecting them in brigade drill.

On the 10th instant I sent the Picket, Captain T. P. Ives, with two companies of the Ninth Regiment New York, Colonel R. C. Hawkins, to make a reconnaissance in the neighborhood of Nag's Head. They found that General Wise left there with the remnant of his troops on the day of the battle, burning the large hotel, to prevent its use by our troops, and destroying a considerable amount of public property that could not be removed. We, however, secured a large steam mud-scow, a blacksmith forge, and some open boats and flat-boats loaded with wood.

On the 12th I again sent a smaller party, under my aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Pell, which succeeded in bringing back several Sibley ents and a large box of medical stores. Frequent scouting parties have