War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0074 OPERATIONS IN SOUTHEASTERN VIRGINIA. Chapter XIX.

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Numbers 1. Reports of Brigadier General Ambrose E. Burnside, U. S. Army, with congratulatory orders.


Roanoke Island, N. C., February 10, 1862.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that a combined attack upon this island was commenced on the morning of the 7th by the naval and military forces of this expedition, which has resulted in the capture of six forts, forty guns, over 2,000 prisoners, and upward of 3,000 small-arms. Among the prisoners are Colonel Shaw, commander of the island, and O. Jennings Wise, commander of the Wise Legion. The latter was mortally wounded and has since died. The whole work was finished on the afternoon of the 8th instant, after a hard day's fighting, by a brilliant charge on the battery in the center of the island and a rapid pursuit of the enemy to the north end of the island, resulting in the capture of the prisoners mentioned above. We have had no time to count them, but the number is estimated at near 3,000.

Our men fought bravely, and have endured most manfully the hardships incident to fighting through swamps and dense thickets.

It is impossible to give the details of the engagement or to mention meritorious officers and men in the short time allowed for writing this report. The naval vessel carrying it starts immediately for Hampton Roads, and the reports of the brigadier-generals have not yet been handed in. It is enough to say that the officers and men not yet been of the service have fought gallantly and the plans agree upon before leaving Hatteras were carried out.

I will be excused for saying in reference to the action that I owe everything to Generals Foster, Reno, and Parke, as more full details will show.

I am sorry to report the loss of about 35 killed and about 200 wounded, 10 of them probably mortally.* Among the killed are Colonel Russell, of the Tenth Connecticut Regiment, and Lieutenant Colonel Joseph A. Viguer De Monteil, of the D'Epineuil Zouaves, both of whom fought most gallantly.

I regret exceedingly not being able to send a full report of the killed and wounded, but will send a dispatch-boat in a day or two with full returns.

I beg leave to inclose a copy of a general order issued by me on the 9th instant.

I am most happy to say that I have just received a message from Commodore Goldsborough, stating that the expedition of the gunboats against Elizabeth City and the rebel fleet has been entirely successful. He will of course send his returns to his Department.

I have the honor to be, General, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding Department of North Carolina.

Major General GEORGE B. McCLELLAN,

Commanding U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.


*But see revised statement, p. 85.