Today in History:

693 Series I Volume IV- Serial 4 - Operations in the South and West

Page 693(Official Records Volume 4)  



General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose herewith a letter from Brigadier General D. H. Hill, containing a partial report of a tour through his district. You will perceive that he strongly urges that two regiments be sent to Roanoke Island to take the place of Colonel Wright's. The post is of such importance that could I have done so I should there without withdrawing them from points already insufficiently defended. I must, therefore, request that the general's letter be submitted to the President, hoping that he may see some very of furnishing the required force. I have repeatedly urged upon the governor the necessity of sending every man he can arm to the coast. His reply has been that he can send men, but has no arms with which to furnish them.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. C. GATLIN, Brigadier-General, Commanding.


FORT MACON, N. C., October 27, 1861.

General R. C. GATLIN:

DEAR SIR: I must again repeat my earnest convictions that the occupation of Shackelford Banks by a regiment of infantry is essential to the defense of Fort Macon. I learn from Captain Pool, stationed on the Banks, that in the last twenty-eight days the Yankees have been employed twenty days in sounding the approaches to the Banks. They have landed in small parties several times, and have sought to gain all information from the Bankers about the island, the force on it, width, extent, &c. Should the enemy occupy it, he could establish a mortar battery against the fort and drag their surf-boats without difficulty across into Core Sound. Let me entreat you to send a regiment to occupy the Banks.

In regard to a battery, I wrote to the governor three weeks ago that he could get one from Rome, Ga., in ted days. He replies that it is the business of the Confederacy to furnish the battery.*

* * * *

I am very much troubled about Roanoke Island. They have three formidable batteries, but badly located and without adequate infantry support. I went to Norfolk, and succeeded in getting two rifled cannon for that point, shell and powder, three carronades for Hyde and two rifled cannon for Washington, and the promise of rifling two more for Pungo River. I established a battery at Pungo, but could get nothing but two 24-pounder with carriages and two without. The occupation of that river by the enemy would cut off Hyde and serve as a place of operations against Washington.

General Huger told me that he could not spare Colonel Wright, and wanted you to supply his place immediately. There ought to be two North Carolina regiments on Roanoke besides Colonel Shaw's command. There is bad feeling between the North Carolina and Georgia troops. Should we attempt the recapture of Hatteras is the proper place to start from. The newspapers could not inform the enemy about


*Something omitted in copy as forwarded by General Gatlin.