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About the same time, Foster, at the head of the First brigade, which had just landed, advanced against another camp of the rebels. He also was met by a flag of truce, the officer bearing it demanding what terms would be granted them. An unconditional surrender, was the reply. Again asking what time would be allowed, was told “While you are going back to camp to convey the terms and returning.” In a few minutes the flag came back, announcing that the terms were accepted. The brigade immediately marched triumphantly into camp, when Colonel Shaw, commander of the post, ad. vanced and delivered up his sword to General Foster.

Wooden barracks were found in the two encampments, capacious enough to hold several thousand men, in which our troops took up their comfortable quarters.

Thus sell Roanoke Island, with its garrison of three thousand men, its batteries mounting thirty guns, and all its stores, ammunition, etc. Our total loss in killed and wounded was about two hundred and fifty. The gun

boats escaped towards Elizabeth City, thirty-five or forty miles distant. Preparations were immediately made to pursue them there, and on Sunday afternoon, the ninth, fuurteen steamers, under the command of Captain Rowan, started from the island, and at eight o'clock the next morning came in sight of the place, in front of which they were discyvered, seven in number, drawn up in line of battle. They were commanded by Captain Lyncî, well known as the leader of the Dead Sea expedition, sent out by our govern. ment several years ago.

On a point which projected out a quarter of a mile or so beyond the line of battle, stood a fort mounting four large

guns. Directly opposite it, a schooner was anchored, on 3 which were two heavy rifle guns. Our squadron, at this

time, was about two miles off, and all was anxious expectation to know what the commander would do. The ordinary

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284

A DARING ATTACK.

course would have been to silence the fort and demolish the schooner, that stood like two sentinels in advance of the steamers, and then engage the latter. But this was too slow a process to suit Captain Rowan, and he ran up the signal, Close action.. This was received with wild delight by the gallant tars, and instantly there began a rare between the steamers, which should first grapple with the enemy. The flag-ship, with her gallant signal flying, dashed into and through the cross fire of the fort and schooner, followed by the rest of the squadron. Crowded together in the narrow channel as they swept on, they presented a sure mark for the enemy's guns, and shot and shell fell in a perfect shower on their decks.

Without stopping to reply, they plunged with a full head of steam on into the midst of the rebel boats. The Perry in advance made for the rebel flag-ship Sea Bird, and striking her amidships crushed her like an egg shell. . The Ceres in like manner ran into the Ellis and boarded her at the same time. In quick succession the Underwriter took the Forrest and the Delaware the Fanny, in the same style. The bursting of shells--the deafening roar of broadsides within pistol shot of each other-the crashing of timbers as vessels wrapped in flame and smoke closed in the death grappleand sinking, abandoned wrecks, --combined to form a scene of indescribable terror. A shell entered the Valley City and burst amid a mass of fire-works, setting them on fire. The men were immediately called to "fire quarters,” but finding it took too many from the guns, the commander, Chaplir, ordered them back, and jumped down into the magazine himself and passet up loose cylinders of powder while he gave directio: 3 about extinguishing the fire. The rockets were whizzing around, blue lights burning, signal lights blazing, the shell room on fire, the fight going on, and he (the captain,) passing up the powder and putting out the

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fire, with the most imperturbable coolness, thus keeping the men steady and at their work. The assistant gunner, John Davis, was in the magazine assisting him, when a shell knocked the cover off from a barrel of powder. He immediately sat down upon it, to keep the sparks from falling within, when Chaplin called out to him to help put out the fire. "Don't you see, Sir, I can't ?” he replied. "If I get out of this, the sparks will get in the powder.” A cooler courage than this can not be imagined. It was afterwards presented to the notice of government, and the gallant fellow promoted.

Of the rebel navy, all the vessels were taken or destroyed except two, which escaped up the Dismal Swamp canal.

The rebel troops immediately evacuated Elizabeth City, setting it on fire as they retreated. The flames, however, were extinguished before much damage was done.

These victories gave us control of the whole coast of North Carolina down to Newbern. Following so close on the heels of those at the west, they filled the country with exultation, and a speedy terinination of the war was looked for.

Burnside followed up his victory by land at different points along the coast, and from Norfolk to Newbern the inhabitants were filled with terror. To-day, it was thought he was preparing to advance on the former place by way of the Dismal Swamp canal; to-morrow, an inland movement was feared that would cut the great southern line of rail road. Various speculations were rife at the north concerning his future course, but all believed it would have an important bearing on General McClellan's movements. It was very plain, however, that his force was too small to allow him to make any extensive inland movement. Until heavily reinforced, his efforts must be confined to the coast. That he would remain idle, those who knew his enterprising char

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286.

VASTNESS OF THE FIELD OF BATTLE.

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acter did not believe. Edenton was occupied, while Winton.
on the Chowan river, attempting to stop our ascending gun
boats, was burned to the ground.

In the mean time the Governor of North Carolina issued
a proclamation calling for troops to defend the state.

While the reports of these successive stunning blows were being borne to the rebel Capital, Davis who had hitherto been only Provisional President, was inaugurated the regularly elected President of the confederate states.

A more inauspicious time could not have been selected for the ceremony, nor more gloomy omens have attended it.

On the same day, (Washington's birth day,) so desecrated by the traitors, Washington's Farewell Address was publicly read by the recommendation of Congress in all the loyal states. Its solemn warnings against all sectional strifes, which had been unheeded and almost ridiculed in the heat of political contests, and amid the storms of passion, now that we were encompassed with all the horrors of civil

war,

fell with strange power on the national heart.

Nothing could convey a more vivid impression of the vastness of the territory we were called upon to defend, than the reception at long intervals of reports of different battles that occurred, often on the same day--those of one reaching Washington within a few hours from the time it was fought, and of the other taking weeks in their passage.

Thus, while the coast of North Carolina and the banks of the Cumberland were shaking to the thunder of cannon, far away in New Mexico, the shores of the Rio Grande witnessed a bloody struggle between the Federal and rebel forces. Colonel Canby in command of fort Craig, hearing that Colonel Steel with a large body of Texans was advancing against the place, marched out on the twenty-first to meet him. Driv. ing the enemy from the river, he crossed, and a fierce ar. tillery combat followed which lasted till afternoon. I'wo

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batteries flanked the Union forces, which the enemy saw inust be taken, or the battle lost. Consequently two desperate charges were made upon them--that on the right commanded by Lieutenant Hall, by cavalry, which was repulsed, and that on the left under Captain McRae, by Texans on foot. The latter was one of the most desperate on record. About a hundred and fifty yards in front of the guns was a thick wood, out of which the band which had volunteered for the purpose, started on a run, with nothing but revolvers in their hands. As McRae saw them coming, he opened a terrible fire of

grape and canister, piling them like autumn leaves over the field. The survivors, however, never faltered, but dashed forward full in the blaze of another volley, and still keeping on their terrible way, rushed up to the very muzzles of the guns, where they shot down every one that manned them cxcept two or three. Even the regulars, whose duty it was to defend the battery: appalled at such desperation, turned and fled. Captain McRae however, stood single handed to his pieces, and disdaining to surrender. was shot at his post ---as gallant a man as ever faced a foe. The loss of the battery, compelled Canby to retreat to the fort, which he reached with the loss in killed and wounded of about two hundredi.

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