Just before the charge the steamer Union arrived with the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts, which I hastened forward, with the exception of three companies, detailed to carry up ammunition. It must be remembered that up to this time there had not been a single horse landed, owing to the impossibility of getting them through the marsh on the shore. All the ammunition and stores had to be transferred by our soldiers, and the general and field officers had to perform their duties on foot. On moving up the road toward the battery I met my aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Fearing, whom I had sent to the front to report progress, when he informed me that an advance was made by General Reno's brigade immediately after the battery was taken, thus anticipating my order sent by Lieutenant Anderson. I had learned from an officer of the Richmond Blues, taken prisoner and brought to them by Captain William Cutting and Lieutenant D. A. Pell, that there were no more batteries on the road.
The Twenty-fourth Massachusetts, Colonel Stevenson, coming fresh, General Foster pushed on, followed by General Parke. On arriving at the road leading to Pork Point Battery I detailed the Fourth Rhode Island and the Tenth Connecticut from General Foster's brigade, sending them under General Parke down this road to take the battery in the rear, but on their arrival it was found to have been just evacuated. The pursuit was continued by Generals Foster and Reno to the head of the island in rear of Weir's Point Battery, where the entire force on the island had concentrated in two camps. A slight engagement ensued, in which the enemy lost four men killed, after which they surrendered to Generals Foster and Reno at discretion. The entire force of the enemy on the island, in the batteries, and stationed as sharpshooters was about 4,000. Gov. H. A. Wise had a force in reserve at Nag's Head, with which he left as soon as he heard of our victory. Their troops were well posted for defense and their inland battery well masked, so that our men were really fighting against an enemy almost entirely concealed. The force that surrendered to Generals Foster and Reno consisted of 159 officers and over 2,500 men. Among these are two colonels, two lieutenant-colonels, and three majors.
I omitted to mention that the Ninth New York was diverted to the right of the main road by General Reno, where they captured some 60 prisoners in their attempt to escape through Shallow Bag Hay. Among these prisoners was Captain O. Jennings Wise, who was severely wounded and has since died. The loss of the enemy is unknown, as many had been removed, but it will not exceed 150 killed and wounded.
By this victory we have gained complete possession of this island, with five forts, mounting thirty-two guns, winter quarters for some 4,000 troops, and 3,000 stand of arms, large hospital buildings, with a large amount of lumber, wheelbarrows, scows, pile-drivers, a mud dredge, ladders, and other appurtenances for military service, of which a careful inventory will be made and sent on, with an accurate list of prisoners, by our next dispatches.
Fort Forrest, on the main-land, opposite Weir's Point, was burned by the rebels on the evening of the 8th instant. It contained eight guns, thus making their loss forty guns in all. The Navy has recovered nearly all from this fort in good condition.
When it is remembered that for one month our officers and men had been confined on crowded ships during a period of unusual prevalence of severe storms, some of them having to be removed from stranded vessels, others in vessels thumping for days on sand banks and under constant apprehension of collision, then landing without blankets or