started with a train of cars, and found the Fifty-seventh Virginia and Fourteenth North Carolina down the river on scout. The North Carolina regiment was recalled, and an order sent to Lieutenant-Colonel Williams to return forthwith to Winton. I send copy of his report.* I can see no reason or excuse for his retreat. His men have lost all except their arms and what they wore. He is under command of Colonel Clarke. He left Newsom's for Murfreesborough on the 22nd. Colonel Clarke's regiment also went there.
The want of cavalry is excessive. I have ordered the detachment of Captain Gillett's company, which was relieved at Winton by the Nansemond cavalry, to stay with Colonel Armistead until further orders.
I have sent Captain Brewer's Nansemond cavalry toward Edenton to co-operate with the militia in getting off the provisions in that section.
Major Brabble, First North Carolina Battalion, went into Edenton, and arrested Messrs. Norcom and Bland as traitors, in dealing with the enemy. They are sent to Raleigh. The Union men south of Chowan were arrested by Colonel Williams' order, but escaped during the retreat. The whole country south of Chowan is more or less disaffected. I send Colonel Moore's report.*
These two reports of mine will partially show that I have not been idle since my command was extended and that no point in the district was neglected. I must therefore respectfully as that General Order, Numbers 14, of 20th February, 1862, reducing my command to a small brigade, while the youngest brigadier in the Army has charge of two brigades, be so modified as to express the opinion of the general that the service required such action and was not done from my disapproval of my conduct.
Colonel Wright, Third Georgia Regiment, has acted separately, and his reports have been sent in.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. G. BLANCHARD,
Brigadier-General, P. A. C. S.
HEADQUARTERS FIFTH BRIGADE, HUGER'S DIVISION,
Murfreesborough, N. C., February 24, 1862.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of War, C. S.:
SIR: Having been placed in command of the forces covering the large territory between the Chowan and the Roanoke Rivers, consisting of my own regiment, numbering lass than 600 effective men; Colonel Williams' Battalion North Carolina Volunteers, 400; one company of cavalry of Wise's Legion, only 40 of whom are with me, and Nichols' battery of four small pieces, I hasten to inform you that these forces are wholly inadequate to the important services required of them, and respectfully, but most urgently, request that an additional force of cavalry and artillery may be immediately placed at my disposal. I am using my utmost endeavors to raise a small body of mounted men in this vicinity to act as couriers and vedettes, but being wholly undisciplined and but poorly armed, they will be incompetent to meet the enemy in the field, even should I be able to raise them, which is doubtful.