Abstract from postl returnk of Fort Bartow,* Roanoke Island, N. C., commanded by Major G. H. Hill, for Januaryt, 1862.
Present for duty
Troops Officers Men Total present
Field and staff 3 2 2
17th North Carolina
Company E 3 67 70
Company I 3 52 76
Company L 3 57 74
Total 12 178 222
Troops Aggregate Total Aggregate
present present and present and
Field and staff 5 2 6
17th North Carolina
Company E 73 77 81
Company I 79 82 86
Company L 77 83 87
Total 234 244 260
STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,
Raleigh, February 1, 1862.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:
SIR: The various and conflicting rumors about the destination of the Burnside expedition is now settled by its rendezvous at Hatteras. It has no doubt suffered from the late storm, but not enough to divert its object or its means of successful assault. If you will glance at the map you will readily perceive the extent of injury both to North Carolina and the Confederacy by an expedition into the interior from any part of Albemarle or Pamlico Sound. And I regret again to allude to out inability to check so formidable an expedition, whatever route it may select, and I have refrained as long as I could from alluding to re-enforcements. I am aware of the zeal you devote to the immense labors before you, and of the great strain pressing on you from every quarter, and that you would send re-enforcements unasked if you had them to spare.
But I will respectfully tender a suggestion, and be gratified if it coincides with your views; that is, to spare us two or three regiments from the Peninsula, particularly the Fifth North Carolina Volunteers. I make the suggestion on the ground that General Magruder has had every facility in men and good, skillful officers for seven months to fortify the Peninsula; that it has been successfully done; that his intrenchments, fortifications, and guns have been so successfully and extensively done [six] that they can now be defended with one-half of the men required some months ago; that the place will only allow a defensive warfare, and he is prepared for that, and he can now spare some of his force. A commanding general always asks for more, and never consents to give up a single company. Upon these grounds I refer you to this position, where I hope you can spare at least our own regiment.
I thank you for aid of General Wise's Legion to the Albemarle country, but I regret to say that Roanoke, not having the benefit of engineers and skillful officers, is not much benefited by the last four months' occupancy of [it] by the Confederate Government. General Wise writes to me that it needs everything, whereas it should have been an impregnable barrier to the Yankees and a protection for a great extent of North Carolina and Virginia. There has been culpable neg-
*Fort Bartow and Fort Forrest were one command. Nine heavy pieces of artillery were in the first and seven in the latter.