War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0103 Chapter XX. BATTLE OF ROANOKE ISLAND, N.C.

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ground was very swampy,and for most of the time the men were up to their waists in water, though, notwithstanding these discouraging circumstances, they behaved themselves admirably.

There are 35 men missing from the regiment.


Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

Captain E. M. NEILL,

Asst. Adjt. General, Second Brigade, Dept. of North Carolina.

P. S.-All the missing have returned except 14, most of whom probably will.

No. 19. Report of Colonel Edward Ferrero, Fifty-first New York Infantry.

I beg leave to submit the following as the report of the Fifty-first Regiment New York Volunteers at the battle of the 8th of February, 1862, on Roanoke Island, N. C.:

I received an order from General Reno on the morning of Saturday, the 8th of February, 1862, at about 7.30 o'clock a. m., to form line on the right of the Second Brigade. The regiment started about 8 a. m. in rear of the First Brigade. After having marched a distance of about half a mile we met three companies of the Twenty-first Massachusetts Regiment. I halted my column and allowed them to take their position. Following them on the main road up the island and marching a distance of about half a mile, I received an order from General Reno to force our way through a dense jungle in the direction of the fighting. On arriving near the rear of the Twenty-first Massachusetts received an order to advance and take position on their left. Finding the swamp almost impassable, owing to the dense growth of underbrush on the right of my line, I ordered the four companies of the right wing, viz A, G, D, and I, to push forward toward the left, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Potter. Said companies advanced and entered the fire on the left of the Twenty-first Massachusetts. During the engagement of the above companies in said position the firing was very galling, but the men and officers replied to it with great vigor. I ordered the companies of the left wing to push forward toward the right. Finding it impossible to engage the enemy on account of the Twenty-first Massachusetts being in front, I ordered the men to lie down to avoid the shower of bullets from our own troops as well as those from the enemy.

The enemy, finding that they were outflanked, commenced to retreat, when the order was given by General Reno to charge. The right wing charged,under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Potter, while I lead the left wing. Having advanced a few paces in front of the Ninth New Jersey and the Ninth New York, I feared that their fire would be directed into our ranks, so I halted my men and ordered the signal for cease firing to be sounded by our bugler, which was understood by all the troops in the vicinity. At that moment the cry came to charge, when all charged together, my right wing arriving at the fort first. Captain Wright, of Company A, color company, arrived first with his company, and planted the American flag upon the ramparts in advance of any other regiment. Captain Sims, of Company G, and Captain