War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0796 NORTH CAROLINA AND S. E. VIRGINIA. Chapter XXX.

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INFANTRY PRESENT.

Officers......................................... 10

Non-commissioned officers........................ 15

Privates......................................... 93

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Aggregate........................................ 118

Sick............................................. 6

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[Effective total]................................ 112

Extra duty....................................... 1

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Fit for duty.............................................. 111

Add total effective force of cavalry...................... 272

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Total effective force, infantry and cavalry............... 383

The accompanying report from Colonel Council and my reply will give details of duties reported upon an din hand. You will send that I have informed him how to get forage. The suggestion to take the corn in shucks might be well to observe. It saves labor, saves corn from shelling, and gets long forage as well as short in the most compact form for transportation.

Deserters in New Kent were not found; they were straggling conscripts; I have ordered their arrest. I ask that printed forms for company morning reports may be sent. My quartermaster cannot get any. I send you a report from Lieutenant Harman, who is my scout in Isle of Wight. From his messages I infer that the enemy are massing their forces, via Norfolk, in and below Suffolk. I have as yet received no dispatches or messages from the scouts sent to Matthews and Gloucester. Have any been received at department headquarters from them? My men have nearly completed their winter quarters and the outer line of our field breastworks. The camp hospital is progressing, but this building and all others have been delayed by want of lumber. We are now cutting and hauling our won lumber from Cox's woods and Aiken's Mill. As soon as sufficient is obtained a part of the hospital buildings can be completed and the storehouse for provisions can be commenced. The latter can soon be put up. Thus I have endeavored to picket and guard our outposts, to provide for them, to construct the necessary winter hospital and other buildings, and to complete our intrenchments. In another week the whole will be well on the way to completion. I therefore make a timely application for leave of absence for nine days from Wednesday, December 24 instant, in order that I amy meet my family the second time since April last, and attend to some necessary and important private business. The first leave, you will remember, was cut off by a sudden recall to duty. I make this application now because danger is seemingly somewhat distant and I might perhaps be better spared sooner than at the time I ask for. My family is still at Dover Mills, only 20 miles above Richmond, and a courier can bring me back to my post at any time in eight hours from the moment he leaves your headquarters, and I will hurry back at the first notice, day or night; but, as before, I beg you will not grant this request if you doubt the propriety of doing so.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE,

Brigadier-General.