War of the Rebellion: Serial 108 Page 0520 MD., E. N. C., PA., VA., EXCEPT S. W., & W. VA. Chapter LXIII.

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Corprew, but were sent expressly in advance of him or any re-enforcements, as a regiment was to be dispatched, and was not dispatched when the orders were issued. They were addressed, the one (General Huger's) "To the senior officer commanding any troops at Currituck bridge or neighborhood; " the other "To the seniro officer at Currituck bridge or neighborhood." They were thus addressed because General Huger was then uncertain whether I or who would be there. In the second place they ordered the officer to 'send back the steamer Roanoke with the four barges," and the steamer was under my command. In the third place, the command at Currituck bridge was in the district assigned to my brigade, and had Colonel Corprew been found there with these orders in hand I should have outranked him and been the officer of highest grade, as well as senior officer in command of the entire district. But Colonel corprew, with five companies of infantry, only arrived in the evening of the 10th, and reported merely to me for duty. He was, as you will see by a subsequent letter from General Huger to me, expected to meet me, but he showed me no orders to him from General Huger, and I was not informed of any special orders to him to hold that Point (Currituck bridge) and prevent the enemy from passing through the south branch of the Chesapeake and Albemarle Canal until I read the copy now before me of General Huger's letter of the 16th Adjutant-General Cooper. I received no other orders, and was informed of no other orders than those of which the above are copies, and they contain no such clause as that alleged to have been given to Colonel Corprew. I consulted Colonel Corprew upon the movement of falling back. He concurred in the policy of falling back, and he gave me no infromation of any order "to hold that point." I obeyed my orders by obstructing the canal by sinking a heavy barge and dredging machine at the North River mouth and betweent he bridge and the North River mouth of it. I found the militia already ordered out and assembled, but without arms or ammunition, or provisions or tools, but I organized them into working parties and set them to work in leveling the banks of the canal so as not to obstruct the only one gun bearing on the canal. Four guns had been placed at the Currituck bridge (32-pounders); one of them had been moved by Captain Lynch, and I had removed the powder for them to Roanoke Island. Thus but three were left, with no powder, at a bad earth-work, on the bridge, not commanding either mouth or end of the canal. The annexed map will sufficiently explain its position. Instead of placing these four heavy guns at the ends of the canal, five miles and a half apart, they were placed between them at the bridge, three covering the road leading from Poplar Springs and Powell's Point and one pointing down the canal toward the mouth on North River. The enemy could land and Poplar Springs and Powell's Point and one pointing down the canal toward the mouth on North River. The enemy could land at Poplar Springs, nine miles only from the bridge, at the narrows of Currituck Sound, deploy to their right, cross the canal, and come up on our left flank in our rear; or run up to the west end of the canal, on North River (as they did), land on the left bank of the canal, deploy to the left, and take our right flank in the rear; or they could run up Indian Creek to near Indiantown, land and get in our rear at Currituck Court-House, cut us off and shut us up in Currituck Peninsula. My only effective force was three infantry companies of my legion and Colonel Corprew's battalion of five companies of infantry. The militia were worse than non-effective - they were in the way - and not more than thirty of them remained to work. There were no artillerist to work the big guns, and I had no field artillery. In a word, the point was wholly indefensible with the force I had, and the armament and