Numbers 16. Report of Captain Montgomery Ritchie, Aide-de-Camp.
ON BOARD PROPELLER GUNBOAT PIONEER,
February 7, 1862.
SIR: On the 6th instant, in obedience to the orders of General Reno, I proceeded on board and took command of this vessel. At 8.30 a. m. this day got under way and cleared the ship for action. The action became general at 12.30 p. m. between the rebel gunboats, their redoubt on the central part of Roanoke, and the fleet. Open fire from our 30-pounder Parrott at 25 minutes to 1 p. m., and from the Wiard gun ran her aground, it was impracticable to approach as near as desirable. We maintained fire during the day until after 5 p. m., expending 95 rounds of ammunition. Captain Baker, of the Pioneer, placed his vessel skillfully in position. The Parrott gun, under command of Lieutenant F. W. Tryon, Fifty-first New York Volunteers, and the Wiard gun (12-pounder), under Mr. Griffith, first mate, deserve honorable mention for the manner in which their guns were handled.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
Captain, Aide of General ReNumbers
Captain E. M. NEILL,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Brigade.
Numbers 17. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Alberto C. Maggi, Twenty-first Massachusetts Infantry.
HDQRS. TWENTY-FIRST REGIMENT MASS. VOLS.,
Roanoke Island, February 9, 1862.
GENERAL: Friday, the 7th, at 5 p. m., my regiment disembarked. I formed the line rapidly and in good order. Then General Parke came in your name and asked from my regiment a company of skirmishers, in order to go in advance to explore the road which from the place of disembarkation was crossing the woods toward our right side. I gave to him Company D, 90 men strong, commanded by Captain T. S. Foster. Afterward you came and gave me the order to go to the cross-road and take possession of all that ground, placing a section of artillery at the cross-road, supported by Company c, and throwing to right and left from water to water two other companies in small pickets, covered by sentries at a distance of 15 paces each, and placing the rest of the regiment at the end of the wood as supports.
During this march the head of the advance guard was fired upon by the advance pickets of the enemy and one of our men wounded. We brought him back. It now being quite dark, the advance guard was called in and one man was found missing. He returned the following day. I had already detailed two sections as a scouting party, who would have relieved each other during the night, in order to explore the ground in front of the pickets and advance as far as possible without giving the alarm, in order to discover the position of the enemy,