War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0350 Chapter XLVIII. OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C.

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field ought not to make her such a bugbear to us. Captain Smith, commanding the naval forces in the sounds, left here this morning in the Mattabesett to look after matters in the Albemarle Sound, and I hope he will prevent the ram from molesting us in any way. Captain Smith told me that if he could only get the ran into the sounds the smaller gun-boats here could sink her. He has large powerful vessel with him. One Flusser now would be worth, I estimate, about 1,000 such people as permitted themselves to be off from the mouth of the Roanoke, but I may be mistaken and there may have been some good reason for acting as they did.

I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

I. N. PALMER,

Brigadier-General.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA,

New Berne, N. C., May 2, 1864.

Major R. S. DAVIS,

A. A. G., Dept. of Virginia and North Carolina:

MAJOR: I inclose copies of letters received from Colonel Wardrop, commanding at Roanoke Island. This news is confirmed by Captain James, who has just arrived from Fort Monroe, via canal. I will only say that I indulge in the hope that Captain Smith, the senior naval officer now in the sounds will either infuse a new and better spirit into his subordinates here, or that he will direct the whole of the naval force to flee immediately for safety to other waters. I ought not perhaps to prejudge, but it occurs to me that the conduct of the vessels at the mouth of the Roanoke was, to say the least, not handsome. Lieutenant King, of the Engineers, has constructed some very simple and ingenious torpedoes, and takes eight of them to-day to the mouth of the Roanoake River. If the ran has returned up the river we hope to entice her down again after having placed these torpedoes, so as to insure had destruction.

I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

I. N. PALMER,

Brigadier-General.

(Duplicate sent via Hatters.-I. N. P.)

[Inclosure Numbers 1.]

HEADQUARTERS SUB-DISTRICT OF ALBEMARLE,

Roanoke Island, April 30, 1864.

Captain J. A. JUDSON,

Asst. Adjt. General, District of North Carolina:

SIR: Yesterday p. m. the rebel ram came out of the Roanoke River. The gun-boats fell back to this island, where they now are. Consequently the ram is in possession of Albemarle Sound. Communication with Norfolk now, canal route, is not safe, as they can bring down whatever they have on any of the rivers that employ into the sound.

* * * * *

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

D. W. WARDROP,

Colonel, Commanding.