the action; the pieces had to be abandoned, and believing it utterly impossible to make a successful stand against such an overwhelming force, I deemed it my duty to surrender.
A verified roll of the prisoners has gone to General Huger, through Major Allston, Provisional Army Confederate States. The number, I believe, is about 2,500. Among these are the battalions of Colonel Green and Major Fry, who reached the island too late to participate in the battle. Colonel Green, however, had a skirmish with the enemy an account of which is given in his report.
The loss on our side in killed, wounded, and missing, is as follows:
Killed 23,; wounded,58; and missing, 62. The loss of the Forty-sixth and Fifty-ninth Virginia Volunteers is 6 killed, 28 wounded, and 19 missing; that of the Eighth, Thirty-first, and Second North Carolina troops is 16 killed, 30 wounded, and 43 missing; of the Engineer Department, Lieutenant Selden was killed.
Two companies at Fort Forrest are reported to have blown up the fort and made their escape. A detachment of 17 men, under Lieutenant Pulley, of the Thirty-first North Carolina troops, stationed at the battery at Midgett's Hommock, also escaped.
In addition to the officers killed, whose names have already been mentioned, the country will deplore the loss of Captain O. J. Wise, of the Forty-sixth Virginia Volunteers, who fell bravely fighting at the head of his company,and whose last utterances as he was borne from the field were words of encouragement to his fellow-soldiers. Captain Coles, of the same regiment, also proved himself a gallant soldier, and was killed upon the field.
While I bear testimony to the bravery and good conduct of the officers and men generally who were under my immediate observation during the long protracted action, it is my duty to express the decided belief that, had an opportunity offered, the officers and men so long held in reserve under the most trying circumstances would have shown themselves worthy the confidence of the country. The loss of the enemy in killed and wounded was very great.
I cannot close this report without giving expression to the deep grief which I feel on account of the disaster which has befallen us, and at the same time expressing the earnest hope that the Great Being who holds the destinies of nations in the hollow of His had will soon enable us to retrieve the losses we have sustained.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. M. SHAW,
Colonel Eighth North Carolina State Troops.
Brigadier General HENRY A. WISE,
Commanding Fourth Brigade, Department of Norfolk.
Numbers 26. Report of Captain James M. Whitson, Eighth North Carolina Infantry.
FEBRUARY 6, 1862-8 p.m..
Received orders to-night to muster all the available strength of my company with one day's ration, and march to Pugh's Landing, distant 9 miles from the camp.
At 2 o'clock on the following morning we arrived at the church near