Battle of Roanoke island.
（our own correspondent.
Monument Hotel, Richmond, March 1st, 1862
Since the battle of Roanoke
, Gen. Burnside
has said that he did not commence the attack until fifteen thousand men had been landed, and that there were ten thousand more in the ships to land if required.
Nine regiments of the land force were brought against the battery, behind which we had about four hundred men; and it was not until they had fought near five hours, and were flanked on either side, that they were forced to retire.
Remaining entirely protected by the battery, and by the neighboring trees, it was seldom the volleys of the enemy took effect upon our soldiers, who only and whenever a fair mark presented itself Capt. Wise
was continually talking to his men cautioning them against exposure, and directing them when it was safe to fire.
It was while ordering his men to look out for a valley that he received the first shot.
The remainder of his wounds were given while being carried from the field.
The first, however, was the mortal wound which laid the hero and noble patriot in the grave.
He died the following day. When the enemy was seen approaching through the swamp on the right, it was evident that the battery could be held no longer, and immediate preparations were made to fall back.
Rallying his men around him Col. Anderson
retired about three hundred yards, to the reserve, consisting of four companies, under Capts Wallace
, and Lieut. Durham
under Adjutant Blocker
He at once gets the order to fall in, and they promptly rallied to protect the reserve, and stood firm until every man had passed by, some of them perfectly panic-stricken.
The 60th fell in promptly, in an orderly manner, and marched immediately to the rear.
The reserve was ordered to form by companies, fire by companies, and protect the retreat until another sand could be made.
The 31st North Carolina, at once ran to their quarters, Col. Jordan
riding at the head of the frightened procession, and there remained until summoned to surrender.
Meanwhile the enemy had advanced upon the deserted battery and taken possession with prolonged cheers.
This was about one o'clock, and at that hour Col. W. J. Greens
battalion, the 2nd North Carolina, arrived at the upper and of the island and effected a landing.
His force consisted of eight companies, making about five hundred men. After forming in line and issuing arms and ammunition, Col. Green
marched down by the upper battery to Col. Shaw
He found the latter by his quarters considerably disturbed and serious.
immediately asked what he should do. ‘"I hardly know, "’ said Col. Shaw
, ‘"the day is lost."’ Col. Green
then proposed that he should go back to the beach, where his baggage was left, for the purpose of protecting it, and meanwhile to put out a line of pickets and sentinels to watch the enemy's approach.
He further asked Col. Shaw
if he would rally to his assistance in case the pickets were attacked.
Receiving an affirmative reply he advanced three or four hundred yards and was met by the 23d, 24th, and 25th Massachusetts regiments, drawn up to receive him. The command for companies to fall into line, was instantly given, but just before ordering a fire, one of the Federal Colonels
shouted to him saying, ‘"you are mistaken, don't shoot."’ Suspecting the trick, he fired upon them for several minutes and repulsed them.
Seeing what a force he had to contend with the retreated in an orderly manner to the quarters of the 31st, and while rallying for another attack, a flag of truce passed by towards the enemy.
at once rode over to Col. Shaw
and asked if it was his command that he surrender.
The reply was that the forces on the island had been already surrendered.
said no more; but exceedingly chagrinned and humiliated, marched his battalion into camp and delivered up their arms.
In the engagement, he lost five men killed and three wounded. The enemy had seventeen killed.
The 59th marched directly by the quarters of Col. Shaw
, and halted at the beach.
On the way down the remainder of the 46th Virginia, under Major Fry
, joined them, having just landed from barges which brought them from Nag's Head
Forming on the shore, Col. Anderson
and Major Fry
proposed to make a final stand there, and, while listening to the fight above between the enemy and Col. Green
, drew up the men and deployed skirmishers.
Word was soon after brought that a flag of truce had been sent, proposing terms of surrender.
sent Capt. Wallace
, upon his horse, to ascertain the fact from the commander of the island.
Riding up to the quarters, Capt. Wallace
"Col. Shaw, Col. Anderson
wishes to know if it is your desire that he surrender his regiment?"
‘"I have already surrendered my command,"’ was the reply.
‘"Do you consider Col. Anderson
under your command?"’
will know that fact."’
rode back immediately to deliver his message, and the Virginian
, amid r and curses, and ravings, were marched p prisoners of war.
When the Wise-Legion came first to the beach the steaming with several flats attached was slo by the shore, and it was expected that the men would have been taken off. The commander of the tug was Major Bacon
, aid to General-Wise
, and it was fair to present he would do all in his power to get as many as possible from the island.
The men, therefore, watched his motions with great interest and saw the anchor hove up as if to come in shore.
All were prepared to wade out to the flats, which might have been doom had they remained as at first.
When the anchor was up, Major Bacon
steamed away from the island, and left the men to be captured.
All of the Wise Legion
; might have been saved, for they remained on the point three hours before being summoned to surrender.
As soon as it became evident the steamer was leaving, several prepared to fire upon the man in uniform standing upon the deck, but were restrained by their officers, who hoped that the tug was only turning to come nearer land.
But straight across the sound she was carried, towing the flats along, and we last saw her steaming for Nag's Head
.--With little exertion every man of the Wise Legion
might have been taken on board, and had the flats been turned adrift many might have escaped.
What the excuse for such conduct was I cannot imagine; it is to be hoped that Major Bacon
has a good one, and will give it to the public without delays.
One by one the regiments marched up the beach to the quarters of the commander, Col. Shew
, and there delivered up their arms and themselves as prisoners of war. About sunset the drama of the day closed, and twenty-four hundred and forty men slept that right in captivity.
Of the imprisonment on the island, and afterwards on the ships; I can say nothing, owing to the terms of my paroled, Suffice it to relate, on the 21st of February the prisoners were taken to Elizabeth City
, and released, promising not to engage to the service again, nor to give aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States
, unli exchanged, the knowledge of such, exchange to be beyond the possibility of a doubt.
The following is the general distribution of the forces on the island:
- Company A, Capt. Hinton, stationed one quarter mile from Fort Bartow,
- Company B, Capt. Whitson, left wing in battery.
- Company C, Capt. McRas, in reserve, 800 yards in rear battery.
- Company D, Capt. Rogers, in reserve, 800 yards in rear battery.
- Company E, Lieut. Marchison, in reserve, 800 yards in rear battery.
- Company F, Lieut. Marchison, in reserve, 800 yards in rear battery.
- Company G, Capt. Yellowby, in reserve, 800 yards in rear battery.
- Company H, Capt. Barrier, in charge Fort Huger.
- Company J, Capt. Cobb, --
- Company K, Capt. Kennedy, in reserve, 800 yards from battery.
- Company A, Capt. Goodwin, on the shore opposite the island.
- Company B, Capt. Lyle, at battery lower and of the island.
- Company C, Capt. Betts, in reserve some distance rear battery.
- Company D, Capt. Manly, in reserve some distance rear battery.
- Company E, Capt. Miller, in reserve some distance rear battery.
- Company G, Capt. Perot, in reserve some distance rear battery.
- Company F, Capt. Knight, in battery fighting.
- Company H, Capt. Jones, in reserve.
- Company I, Capt. McCoy, in reserve.
In Port Huges.
In Fort Blanchard.
Forty-four men from 31st N. C., under Lieut. Pipkins
In Fort Barton.
Was engaged at the battery with two companies of the 46th Va.
Four companies--Capts. Crank
, and Williams
--arrived about eleven o'clock.
Arrived on the Island
The defences of the island consisted of four batteries, one ordinary field fortification and a barricade across the channel.
Fort Huger is about one mile from the upper and of the island, and is the most formidable of all. It was upon this fort that the greatest reliance was placed, but it was never of any avail.--It mounts twelve guns--ten 32-pounders in embrasure, and two rifle 68-pounders en barbette.
Lower down, about a mile, was Fort Blanchard, a small work, mounting only four 32-pounders en burbette.
Two or three shots were fired from this point during the engagement, but all fell short.
Fort Bartow was built upon Pork Point
, and was the one which sustained the bombardment.
It is heptagonal in shape, and has its five sides armed.
There were six thirty-two pound guns in embrasure, and three guns, one a rifle, en barbetti.
These latter only could be used, the former ranging too much up the channel.
Fort Forrest is a small sand battery on Freestone Point
, opposite the island, and mounts for 32-pounders.
The breast- work, where the land fight occurred, I have already described.
The channel barricade amounted to nothing.