After remaining a short time in this position, under a very hot fire of grape, canister, shell and musketry, within two hundred yards of the rebels, I was ordered to march by a flank across the partially cleared swamp and turn the enemy's left. I immediately commenced the march, and it was at this point that I had a lieutenant and one man killed, and nearly all the wounded which I report. In order to accomplish the desire of my General, I had to force my way through what the rebel engineers had declared a swamp impenetrable by man or beast. It was certainly the worst-looking place I ever saw man attempt to go through. But I told my men the General had ordered it, and by the help of God, and indomitable perseverance, we would go through it. After a most fatiguing and laborious scratching of two and one half hours, and all the time above our knees in swamp-mud, we made the clearing upon the enemy's left, and introduced ourselves to his notice by a lively fusilade from four companies, which he did not condescend to acknowledge, but immediately gave us leg bail. A charge was then made by the whole line, and as is usual in all such matters, a great many lay claim to have been the first to get in. I am satisfied with what my regiment did; it was the first time that most of them had been under fire, and the first men who were wounded were brought, mangled and bleeding, in full sight of them; but notwithstanding, when I gave the order to file across that hot fire, they followed me to a man, and the energy and perseverance they manifested, in forcing through that almost impregnable swamp, could not have been beaten by veterans. Soon after the evacuation of this breastwork, the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts arrived. In coming up the sound, the day before, they got aground, and did not arrive in time to participate in the affair at the breastwork. They were ordered to pursue the enemy, now in full retreat, and we followed after them. After a march of six miles, we were met by a flag of truce, who asked for a suspension of hostilities until morning. Gen. Foster sent Major Stevenson back, demanding unconditional surrender or fight, in a few moments. The Major came back with the intelligence of surrender, when we marched into their camp, which proved to be their winter-quarters — wooden buildings capable of accommodating five thousand men very comfortably. We immediately took possession of their arms, equipments, ammunition and stores. We have captured two hundred and thirty commissioned officers and forty-four companies — about three thousand prisoners, with three thousand stand of arms and equipments, and two or three large magazines full of ammunition. We have the flower of the chivalry here; they come from Texas, (the famous Texan Rangers,) North-Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and Mississippi, and they look as if they felt very much down in the mouth to find out we came from Massachusetts. They said they thought we could not fight, but they found out we could fight like devils. General Parke's brigade took and have possession of one of the forts that was not fought, and it is a fine work, and with Yankees in it cannot be taken; but they surrendered without firing a gun. Everything upon the island is now in our possession — Hurrah! The gunboats have since gone up the river, taken or destroyed the rebel fleet — the Fanny and all the rest but one, I believe, which escaped through the canal. The rebels destroyed by fire Elizabeth City, to prevent its falling into the hands of our forces. The gunboats have gone up the canal to fill it up, and thus cut off communication with Norfolk. Annexed please find a list of my killed and wounded. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, Your obedient servant,
Killed.--Lieut. John Goodwin, private John Shaw, both of company B, of Marblehead. Wounded.--Company B, Sergeant Gamaliel H. Morse, seriously, in shoulder and breast. Company I, private Frank Howard, seriously, by deep flesh wounds on inside of both thighs. Company D, private John Battles, slightly; Wm. H. Jennings, slightly. Company A, M. C. West, slightly. Comany F, H. D. Allen, George Grant, J. B. Lake, and Francis Card, slightly.
Letter from Col. Maggi.
Gen. Parke came in your name, and asked from my regiment a company of skirmishers, in order to go in advance and explore the wood, which from the place of disembarkation was crossing the island toward our right side. I gave to him company D, of ninety men strong, commanded by Captain T. S. Foster. Afterwards you came and gave me the order to go to the cross-road and take possession of all that ground, placing my pickets for the night, in order to cover the main body. I did so, placing a section of artillery at the cross-road, supported by company C, and throwing right and left, from water to water, two other companies in small pickets, covered by sentries at a distance of fifteen paces each, and placing the rest of the regiment at the entrance of the wood as support. I had already detailed two sections as a scouting party, who would have relieved each other during the night, in order to explore the ground in front of the pickets, and advance as far as possible without giving the alarm, in order to discover the position of the enemy. But at that time you, General, and Gen. Foster came and gave me the order to. change the position, concentrating them on the road, and call them to the front. I did so; six companies were in front, with two pieces of artillery, with a prolongation of pickets in the two roads which open through the woods at an angle of sixty degrees. The remaining four companies, with the other