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GEN. BURNSIDE AT HATTERAS INLET.
BURNSIDE IN NORTH CAROLINA.
GEN. AMBROSE E. BURNSIDE and | tle still deeper in the sand, until she
Com. L. M. Goldsborough led an expedition, which had in good part been fitted out in New York, and which left Fortress Monroe at the opening of the year; and, doubling Cape Henry, moved southward to Hatteras Inlet, whose defenses had been quietly held by our troops since their capture by Gen. Butler and Com. Stringham five months before. The naval part of this expedition consisted of 31 steam gunboats, mounting 94 guns; the military of about 11,500 men, mainly from New England, organized in three brigades, under Gens. Foster, Reno, and Parke, and embarked with their material on some 30 to 40 steam transports. The van of the expedition reached the entrance of the Inlet on the 13th; when it was found that, though care had been taken to select or obtain gunboats of such draft as could readily be worked over the bar at high water, yet a large proportion of the transports, through the incompetence or dishonesty of those employed to procure them, were of such draft as rendered them totally unfit for this service. Of these, the propeller City of New York, 600 tons, heavily laden with rifles, ammunition, tents, bedding, and forage, and drawing 16 feet water, when the greatest depth attainable on the bar was but 13, grounded, of course, in attempting to pass it;' when the sea broke completely over her stern, every breaker lifting her, and causing her, as it subsided, to set
1 1 Jan. 11-12, 1862.
became a perfect wreck-her masts and smoke-stack cut away, her crew, with life-preservers tied about them, lashed to the rigging to save themselves from being washed overboard by each succeeding billow; and at last, after an endurance of 12 to 15 hours, the raging sea began to lift the deck from the hull with every surge. Ere this, her fires had been extinguished, her boats, all but one, filled or stove, and her men utterly exhausted by long fasting and exposure to the cold waves which broke over them continually; while no attention was paid from the fleet to their signal of distress, or even their hail to the S. R. Spaulding, which passed out to sea. At length, two mechanics, W. H. and Charles A. Beach, of Newark, N. J., launched the yawl, and, aided by engineer Wm. Miller, steward Geo. Mason, and Hugh McCabe, fireman, pulled successfully through the surf, over the bar, to the fleet, whence boats were at once dispatched to take off the remainder of the crew, who were speedily rescued. The vessel and cargo were totally lost; as were the steam gunboat Zouave, the transports Louisiana and Pocahontas, and two or three others. Col. J. W. Allen and Surgeon S. F. Weller, 9th New Jersey, were drowned by the upsetting of their small boat in the breakers, as they returned to the transport Ann E. Thompson from reporting the arrival of their regiment to Gen. Burn2 * See Vol. I., p. 599.
⚫ Jan. 13.
4 * Jan. 15.
side. The National loss in precious | Bartow, when the Rebel gunboats halted and added their fire to that of the fort. A line of piles driven across the channel was evidently ex
time, as well as life and property, by the villainy which palmed off on the Government vessels totally unfit for this service, can hardly be overesti-pected to obstruct our advance, but mated. Two or three weeks of desperately hard work were expended on getting over such of the craft as were not wrecked; giving the alarmed Rebels the amplest time to concentrate and fortify.
At length, every thing being in readiness, our fleet moved slowly up Pamlico and Croatan Sounds; the gunboats in advance and on the flanks of the transports, formed in three columns, each headed by its flagship, every large steamer having one or two schooners in tow, with the spaces between the columns kept carefully clear, and all moving at the regulated pace of four miles per hour. The fleet consisted in all of 65 vessels, covering a space about two miles square; some 50 transports, mainly schooners, having been left at the Inlet. The day was beautiful; the distance made about 28 miles, when they halted, near sunset, still 10 miles from the southern point of ROANOKE ISLAND, and lay undisturbed through the bright, moonlit night.
At 8 A. M., the signal to weigh anchor was given. At 11, progress was arrested, near the south point, by a storm; and the fleet again lay at anchor till next morning, when, at 10 A. M., the order was given to move forward, and the gunboats led the way through the narrow passage known as Roanoke Inlet, into Croatan Sound, driving 7 Rebel gunboats before them. At noon, our gunboats were under fire of the chief Rebel battery on the Island, known as Fort February 5,
proved inadequate. Soon, our soldiercrowded transports were seen swarming through the Inlet, and preparations were made for landing at Ashby's Harbor, two miles below the fort, which had now been set on fire by our shells. The flames were soon checked, however, and the cannonade on both sides continued; while the Rebel gunboats, which had retreated up the Sound, again appeared and engaged our fleet, till the Curlew, their flag-ship, was struck by a 100-pound shell from the Southfield, and soon enveloped in flames. The firing was continued on both sides till night, without serious loss in men on either. The Rebel barracks in the rear of the fort were destroyed by fire, and their remaining gunboats compelled to withdraw from the contest. All our transports had passed through the Inlet and anchored by 4 P. M., when debarkation commenced under the fire of our gunboats; and 7,500 men were ashore, and most of them in bivouac, before 11 P. M.
The Rebel forces in that region were commanded by Brig.-Gen. Henry A. Wise, whose headquarters were at Nag's Head, across Roanoke Sound, and whose forces numbered from 3,000 to 4,000; but hardly 1,000 of them were on the Island prior to the approach of our fleet, when rëenforcements were hurried over, raising the number of its defenders to about 3,000. Col. Shaw, 8th North Carolina, was in immediate command. Fort Bartow, otherEx-Governor of Virginia.
ATTACK ON ROANOKE ISLAND.
wise Pork Point battery, was a sub-
After crouching through a rainy night, some of them in miry bogs, our soldiers were formed and led on at an early hour of the morning." A large portion of the Rebel force was deployed as skirmishers, and contested our floundering advance through the bog with spirit and effect until near 10 A. M., when our leading regiments were close under the fire of the fort. They had by this time found it impossible to obey the orders which
Saturday, February 8.
directed them to flank the enemy on | boats. He found them, 7 in number,
either side of the swamp-the abatis proving at most places impassable; and it was resolved to charge over the causeway directly in front. This was done by the 9th New York (Zouaves), Col. Rush C. Hawkins, the 51st, Col. Edward Ferrero, the 23d Massachusetts, Col. John Kurtz, and 21st, Lt.-Col. A. C. Maggi. The 25th and 27th Massachusetts, and 10th Connecticut, Col. Russell, were honorably distinguished in the attack. Col. R. was killed; as was Lt.Col. Viguier de Monteuil, 53d New York, who was serving as a volunteer with Hawkins's Zouaves. Lying down to receive a fire of grape from the Rebel batteries, part of the 51st New York, with Hawkins's Zouaves and the 21st Massachusetts, instantly rose and rushed over the Rebel breastworks, chasing out their defenders and following them in their retreat; securing, by their impetuosity, the capture of the larger number, as no time was given for their escape from the Island. Their loss in killed and wounded was but 55; but among the former were Capt. O. J. Wise, son of the General, and other valuable officers; while their loss in prisoners was not far from 2,700, including Cols. Shaw and Jordan, Lt.-Cols. Fowle and Price, Majors Hill, Yates, and Williamson. Our loss in the bombardment and assault was about 50 killed and 250 wounded. All the cannon, small arms, munitions, provisions, etc., on the Island, were among the spoils of victory.
Com. Rowan, with 14 gunboats, was dispatched next evening up Albemarle Sound and Pasquotank river in pursuit of the Rebel gun
Com. Rowan's flotilla next moved' five miles up the Chowan river to Winton, Hereford county, upon assurances that its citizens wished to return to and be protected by the Union. Their reception was even warmer than they had expected. On reaching the town, they were saluted by a hailstorm of bullets, which constrained them to fall down the river for the night; returning next morning, the village was shelled by them until abandoned, and then burnt.
Gen. Burnside next concentrated his forces at Hatteras Inlet, for an attack on NEWBERN, at the junction of the Neuse and Trent rivers, near Pamlico Sound, and the most important seaport of North Carolina. Com. Goldsborough having been relieved, Commander Rowan directed the fleet. Leaving Hatteras in the morning,' the expedition came to about sunset at Slocum's creek, on the south side of the river, 18 miles below Newbern, where a landing was effected next morning, and the troops pushed forward, so fast as ready, to within a mile and a half of the Rebel defenses; the gunboats moving up the river in advance of the troops, and shelling the road
BURNSIDE ADVANCES UPON NEWBERN.
whereon they marched. No resistance was encountered by land; but the fleet found the channel of the Neuse obstructed, half way up, by 24 vessels sunk in the channel, several torpedoes, and a number of ironpointed spars firmly planted in the bed and inclined down stream, under water, after the manner of the snags of the Mississippi. These obstructions were speedily removed or surmounted; while two or three batteries along the bank were successively silenced by a few shots from our flagship Delaware. The fleet halted for the night nearly abreast of the army; which had had a hard day's work, dragging its guns through the deep clay of the roads, sodden with several days' rain; and the men sank on the ground at night around their pitchpine fires to enjoy a drenching from the freshly pouring skies.
A dense fog covered land and water next morning," as our fleet, having safely passed the obstructions, steamed up past Forts Thompson and Ellis; which, after firing a few shots, were hastily evacuated, a shell from one of the gunboats having exploded the magazine of the latter. Fort Lane, the last and strongest defense of Newbern on the water, was more carefully approached, in expectation of a sanguinary struggle; but it had by this time been likewise evacuated, in deference to the successes of our army; and our fleet steamed directly up to the wharves, shelling the dépôt and track whereby the Rebels were escaping from the city.
ble swamp which connects Newbern with Morehead City, with a battery of 13 heavy guns next the river, several redoubts, all of them well mounted, 3 batteries of field artillery, and 8 regiments of infantry, numbering about 5,000 men, commanded by Gen. Louis O'B. Branch. Our guns were few and light, because of the difficulty of landing and dragging heavier.
Gen. Burnside was on the alert at 6 A. M., and by 7 had his forces in motion. Moving up to within short range of the enemy's intrenchments, The Rebel defenses consisted of a his men were formed in order of batwell constructed breastwork, running tle, and opened fire along their ena mile and a half from the Neuse tire front; the ground being swampy across the railroad to an impenetra- on the left, and elsewhere cut up by
10 Sunday, March 14.