War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0428 OPERATIONS IN NORTH CAROLINA. Chapter XX.

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Shaw, received about daybreak this morning. The officer who brought the dispatch first above mentioned reports that of the enemy's fleet twenty-eighth are gunboats, seven are towing steamers, and the rest transports.

A re-enforcement of ten companies was sent from this place this forenoon to Roanoke Island, leaving about 300 men to cover the retreat of our forces to the beach, should they be compelled to withdraw from the island.

Owing to continual sickness the general was unable to accompany the troops sent to Roanoke. He is very much prostrated from the illness which still confines him to this bed, and which will in all probability compel him to keep his bed for some days to come.

At 20 minutes past 10 singe gun was heard, which the general supposed to be the signal gun of Flag-Officer Lynch. at 16 1/2 minutes past 11 o'clock of this day firing on Croatan Sound commenced, and from that time to the period of closing this dispatch from 250 to 300 guns have been heard, showing a furious battle to be raging between our forces and the enemy. It is now 25 minutes past 12 o'clock, and the firing is very rapid and heavy.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

C. B. DUFFIELD,

Assistant Adjutant-general.

P. S.-1 o'clock p. m.-The firing still continues most furious. A cannon is heard ever second.

C. B. DUFFIELD,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

[Inclosure Numbers 1.]

PORK POINT, February 6-1 p. m.

COLONEL: The fog has cleared away from below, and I can distinctly see that the enemy is about 8 miles from us, in full force. I can make out more than fifty vessels, either at anchor or under way in tow of steamers. I believe that they are at anchor. I am of opinion that they have stopped to consider, but it requires a bright lookout to keep the run of them.

Very respectfully,

B. P. LOYALL,

Lieutenant, C. S. Navy.

[Indorsement.]

GENERAL: This was received at half past 2 o'clock. I am now leaving for the lower end, having ordered four companies down.

H. M. SHAW,

Colonel, Commanding.

Brigadier-General WISE.

[Inclosure Numbers 2.]

HEADQUARTERS ROANOKE ISLAND,

February 6, 1862-8 p. m.

Brigadier General HENRY A. WISE,

Commanding Fourth Brigade, Department of Norfolk:

GENERAL: Your dispatch by Lieutenant Simmons has been received and I hasten to report that I myself have been to Ashby's. The enemy