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[47] supported by Co. E (Capt. Thomas O'Neil).1 All the regiments took part in the battle and sustained losses; the 21st especially distinguishing itself by a brilliant charge, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Maggi, driving the Confederates from the fort. General Reno wrote: ‘The honor of entering the fort is divided between the 21st Mass. and the 51st New York, but all charged gallantly.’ This early success caused great enthusiasm at the North and corresponding depression at the South. It was the first large capture of Confederates during the war, including 2,677 prisoners besides 6 forts, 40 guns and 3,000 small arms. The Richmond Examiner said: ‘The loss of an entire army at Roanoke Island is certainly the most fearful event of the war.’ The same regiments were engaged, with heavy losses, at New Berne (March 14). At this battle Lieut.-Col. Henry Merritt of Salem (23d Mass.) was killed, and Acting Adjt. Frazar A. Stearns (21st Mass.), son of the president of Amherst College. Seventeen members or graduates of the college fell in this battle; and in recognition of this a captured cannon, on which Colonel Clark (himself an Amherst professor) had mounted while cheering on his men, was presented by the regiment to the college. At New Berne also fell in battle Lieut. Joseph W. Lawton of the 27th; and a young man of the rarest promise, James Custis Hopkinson, private of the 44th Mass., died by disease. Major-General Foster in his report paid especial compliments to Col. John Kurtz of the 23d Mass. Infantry, Col. Thomas G. Stevenson of the 24th, Col. Edwin Upton of the 25th and Col. H. C. Lee of the 27th, also to Maj. R. H. Stevenson of the 24th and Lieut. William L. Horton, adjutant of the same regiment. Lieutenant-Colonel Sprague of the 25th. with a portion of his regiment and the regimental colors, was the first to enter the city of New Berne. Sergt. John D. Terry of Co. E, 23d Mass., received a medal of honor, five years later, for gallantry in action at this battle.

There was also an engagement at Camden, N. C., April 19, in which the 21st lost seven killed; one at Trenton Bridge May 15 without loss; one at Tranter's Creek June 5, in which the 24th had six killed and six wounded, and one at Washington, N. C., September 6, in which the same regiment had one killed and five wounded. There was also an engagement at Rawles' Mills, N. C., November 2, in which the 24th and 44th lost slightly,

1 S. H. Putnam's Co. A, 25th Regiment. The skirmishing was done, in the opinion of Colonel Upton, ‘in a manner that would have done credit to regulars.’ (Official War Records, IV, 96.)

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