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huge jets of water thrown up by the bursting shells, and the shrieks of the terrific missiles through the troubled air, combined to form a scene at once grand and terrific. In a short time, the rebel flect, finding our fire too destructive, withdrew behind a row of piles that had been sunk in the channel, when our gun boats gave their exclusive attention to the batteries on shore, and dropped their shells with cool precision into the hostile works. About one o'clock the barracks took fire, and huge volumes of black smoke rolled up the sky, and fell like a rast pall over the intrenchments. The fire on both sides now slackened, and Burnside turned his eye anxiously down the sound in the direction the transports with the troops on board were coming.
In a short time, however, the enemy having partially extinguished the flames, reopened their fire, while their gun boats began to maneuver so as to cut off the transports which were now in sight. This movement was soon checkmated, and the bombardment again commenced in all its fury. About four o'clock the transports arrived and took their position beyond the range of the rebel us. In a few moments, every spar and all the rigging were black with human beings, watching the fight, while ever and anor their loud hurrahs came faintly over the water.
Again the enemy's fire slackened, and Burnside determined to land his troops and storm the works
The spot selected for the landing was known as Ashby harbor, where there was a bold shore. After the
After the gun bcat had shelled the neighboring woods to clear them of the enemy, the small boats were launched, and regiment after regiment, in the deepening twilight, was rowed swiftly to land. In an hour, six thousand men were safely got on shore, and pickets advanced in the direction of the enemy's works. By eleven o'clock all was arranged for the night; and for a mile in extent the shore was lighted up with the cheerful
THE FIGHT ON LAND.
bivouac fires. But in a little while, a cold, driving rain set in which soon deluged the encampments. The troops had left their blankets and knapsacks on board the transports, and so were compelled to pass the long and dreary night with nothing but their pvercoats to protect them from the pitiless storm. But little sleep was had, and the morning light was most welcome, though they knew it heralded the deadly combat
The interval between them and the enemy's works was covered by a swampy forest, filled with a dense growth of underbrush, and traversed by a single half-worn cart road. The fortifications consisted of an earth-work with three sides, surrounded by a ditch eight feet wide and three deep, filled with water. In front, the woods had been cut down for the distance of three hundred yards, to give their guns a clean sweep, while the trees lay piled in every imaginable direction over the marshy ground, through which the advancing force would be compelled to work their difficult way, exposed at every step to a devastating fire.
In the morning the ranks were formed, and the center column, under the command of General Foster, composed of three Massachusetts regiments, and the Tenth Connecticut, moved off--a battery of six twelve-pound boat howitzers at its head. The second column, under General Reno, was to make a flunk attack on the enemy's left, and the third, under General Parke, a similar one on his right.
The center column moving cautiously forward, soon came upor the skirmishers, which they drove steadily back till it reached the open space in front of the works. The artillery was immediately placed in position at a curve of the road, and opened a rapid fire. The concentrated fire of the enemy, however, soon thinned off the gunners, when Rev. Mr. James, chaplain of the Twenty-fifth Massachusetts, stepved forward and helped work the guns till the ammunition
was exhausted. The shot fell like hail stones around lım, yet
many of them stood up to their hips in mud and water,
In the mean time, the two flanking columns were slowly
, who had left his regiment which had been sent
While the Zouaves werd steadily advancing on the battery,
3 of the
the colonel at that moment riding up, ordered the Twentyfirst Massachusetts to charge. It answered with a cheer, and dashed forward at the same instant that the Fifty-first, under Colonel Ferrero, was charging on the left, and soon the Stars and Stripes waved from the ramparts. The rebels, when they saw this sudden apparition on the right and left, broke and fled, and the victorious columns from either flank met in the deserted works with deafening cheers. The Tenth Connectiunt, at the same time these charges were made on the right and left, advanced in front, where their gallant commander, Colonel Russell, fell, pierced with the enemy's bullets. As soon as the works were gained, two columns were formed to go in pursuit of the fugitives.
The Fifty-first and Ninth New York advanced along the road on the east side of the island, to cut them off from crossing to Nag's Head. Here the redoubtable ex-Governor Wise lay an invalid, but not so ill as to prevent him from riding some thirty miles to escape capture. The columns soon came upon some boats loaded with the fleeing rebels, in tow of a steamer. Two more were just putting off from shore. These were immediately ordered to return, which they refusing to do, a volley was poured into them, when they put back and surrendered themselves prisoners of war. Among them was Captain O. Jennings Wise, son of the exGoverror, who was cö severely wounded that he died the same night.
TheTwenty-first Massachusetts advanced is another direction, to the north of the works, where a negro woman told tliem was a large camp of the rebels. A few companies were soon overtaken, who, after a single volley, fled. The Twenty-first following after, was soon met by a flag of truce. The officer bearing it was sent to Reno, who was advancing with his other regiments, when an unconditional surrender was made