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[102] Their decks, spars, and rigging were crowded by the soldiers, eagerly watching the progress of the struggle between our vessels and the battery, and cheers were given whenever a well directed shot was observed to strike. They clung to the rigging like bees to a hive, in clusters as close as they could cling. Their dark figures were clearly defined on the western sky, lighted by the afternoon sun. The water was perfectly still, reflecting the ships and their loaded spars, adding greatly to the striking appearance of the scene.

The gunboats of the naval squadron under command of Flag-Officer Goldsborough, with their armaments, are as follows:

Southfield, (flag-ship,) armament, three nine-inch shell guns and one one-hundred-pounder rifled gun; Delaware, one nine-inch shell gun; Stars and Stripes, four eight-inch shell guns, one twenty-pounder Parrott gun, and two Dalghren boat-howitzers; Louisiana, two heavy thirty-two pounders and twenty-eight-inch shell guns; Hetzel, one nine-inch shell gun and one eighty-pounder rifled gun; Commodore Perry, two nine-inch shell guns; Underwriter, one eight-inch gun and one eighty-pounder rifled gun; Valley City, four thirty-two-pounders and one rifled howitzer; Commodore Barney, two nine-inch shell guns; Hunchback, two nine-inch shell guns and one one-hundred-pounder rifled gun; Ceres, one thirty-two-pounder and one thirty-pounder Parrott gun; Putnam, one thirty-pounder rifled gun and one light thirty-two pounder; Morse, two nine-inch shell guns; Lockwood, one eighty-pounder rifled gun and one twenty-four pounder howitzer; J. N. Seymour, two thirty-pounder Parrott guns; sloop Granite, one thirty-two pounder; Brinker, one thirty-pounder rifled gun; Whitehead, one nine-inch shell gun; Shawsheen, two twenty-pounder Parrott guns.

The gunboats of the coast division engaged, under the direction of Commander Hazard, U. S.N., are: Picket, four guns; Pioneer, four guns; Hussar, four guns; Vidette, three guns; Ranger, four guns; Chasseur, four guns.

At four o'clock in the afternoon, all our transport ships were within the inlet, and clustered in rear of the bombarding fleet, at a safe distance. Their boats are being lowered and got ready, with crew and coxswain, to pull ashore or be towed by a steamer. The stern-wheeler Cadet, with the Fifty-first New-York Volunteers crowded on her decks, approached the shore gradually. The Patuxent, with the Twenty-first Massachusetts on board, and boats at her stern, next passed. The Pilot Boy, loaded on every available spot with the Twenty-fifth Massachusetts, and towing X string of twenty boats, also full to their gunwales, passed along, with Lieut. Andrews on board to pilot her into the water he had sounded. The greater number of our vessels are preparing to disembark their troops into small boats. About four thousand men are now on their way, in steamers and small boats, to the point of landing.

At five o'clock, the first body of troops was landed from the Pilot Boy and her small boats, consisting of the Twenty-fifth regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers. The landing of the troops was unobstructed, for a good reason. A body of rebels were discovered by the glare of their bayonets over the underbrush, and a shrapnel shell from the Delaware and Picket soon sent them scampering into the woods. The landing of our troops was in itself a brilliant operation. As the steamers swept down to the shore, where the water is bold, they detached the lines of the boats, each small boat casting off the painter of the one following; the rowers pulled into a small inlet, and each boat emptied itself on the shore without delay. In less than an hour, about four thousand men were landed, and before eleven o'clock the entire force, except the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts, whose steamer, the Guide, grounded soon after the passage of the inlet. They were put ashore on Saturday morning.

The point at which our troops were landed is a small cove known as Ashby's harbor. The order in which our men were put on shore was: First, the Twenty-fifth Massachusetts, Tenth Connecticut, Fifty-first New-York, Twenty-first Massachusetts, Fourth Rhode Island, Fifth Rhode Island, and Fifty-first Pennsylvania. Six thousand men were thus put ashore in an incredibly short time. A pause of about an hour then occurred, during which the remainder of the division were being prepared for debarkation. Before eleven o'clock, the bivouac-fires of our regiments lighted up the shore and the woods the distance of a mile.

A slight advance was made by the Twenty-first Massachusetts soon after landing. They proceeded alone a road leading diagonally across the island, and when about a quarter of a mile from the shore they fell in with a party of the pickets of the enemy.

Roanoke Island, February 8.
This morning at nine o'clock, a few shots were exchanged between our gunboats and the battery. This, however, ceased after about fifteen minutes firing, and was not renewed during the day. The rebel gunboats were not seen after the fight of the seventh, having gone up the sound in the night. This morning a small steamer was seen towing a fleet of five schooners across the sound in the direction of the east side of the island. They were uninterrupted by our boats, as we were engaged in removing the piles and sunken schooners obstructing the channel.

A brilliant but bloody fight of two hours duration has put us in possession of Roanoke Island, with the forts on the mainland destroyed and abandoned by the enemy. From definite information received by Gen. Burnside, the position of all the works on the island was clearly known, and his movements were based on this knowledge. The plan of attack consisted of a central attacking column, led by Brig.-Gen. Foster; a left flanking column to attack the right of the enemy's work, under Brig.-Gen. Reno, and a right flank column to attack the left of the enemy's position, under the command of Brig.-Gen. Parke.

The approach to the enemy's position was through a swampy wood, with a dense undergrowth,


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