I acknowledge with thankfulness the aid the army has given us when necessity required it, but you will admit that when such cooperation has been extended, it has been with a full knowledge on the part of the military authorities of the object in view. I am equally ready to render every possible aid in all operations here, and, by reference to my letter, you will see that you are in error as to my having refused you the 12 men. I simply required to know the nature and the time of the service for which the men were needed, that I might judge somewhat myself the nature of the responsibility I was taking, and, in giving the aid under a knowledge of the circumstances, O could do so the more efficiently. I have the honor to be, respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. K. DAVENPORT,
Commander, and Senior Naval Officer, Sounds of N. C.
DISTRICT OF THE ALBEMARLE, Roanoke Island, July 3, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel SOUTHARD HOFFMAN,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Dept. of North Carolina:
COLONEL: Your communication of yesterday met me at this place. I have ordered the Port Royal to return to New Berne, and also the Phoenix, the latter transferring its passengers to the Massasoit. About two weeks ago there were no troops at Tarborough, from the best information I could get; but I have heard nothing more recent. I will co-operate with all my means, but it must be done with caution. The enemy outnumbers me on the Roanoke, and in cavalry five to one; besides, the cavalry I have are entirely uninstructed, and at present are not reliable.
I shall communicate to-night with the senior naval officer.
I regret to say that I am almost entirely disabled by a severe attack of rheumatism, being hardly able to walk, and not able to ride. I am glad to hear of the movement, and hope it may prove successful.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. WESSELLS,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding.
JULY 4, 1863-6 a. m.
General Barlow, in town, sends word that he believes the movement of the enemy to be a mere feint.
General Barlow was wounded and left in town on the first day's fight. The general thinks that Barlow's opportunities for judging are good. The general only desires to know where the enemy are, and not by any means to bring on an action. Please communicate to General Howard.
Major-General, Chief of Staff.
33 R R-VOL XXVII, PT III