to carry our works by means of charging them in front, the enemy next determined, if possible, to gain the right and left flanks of our line, which they succeeded in doing after a five hours' struggle, having to ford a deep, boggy swamp, which compelled them to move very cautiously and very slowly. During the movement through the swamp to our right Colonel Shaw and Jordan, both being in the latter, urged me to watch the movement, which I did with the utmost precaution causing my men to fire on the enemy at every opportunity.
Half an hour before the retreat took place, seeing that my company on the right was occupying a critical position, becoming more and more exposed to the fire of the enemy, I passed quickly from my position to Colonel Jordan, informing him of the enemy's movements, and having done this, I passed quickly back to my company. Up to this time I had lost 2 of my men killed and 4 or 5 others wounded.
The fire was now becoming intense, the right flank of my company being the most hotly attacked. Believing that a change of position was really necessary, and that in a few moments more we should be swept with an overraking fire, I threw the right wing of company to the rear, in order to diminish its front. I again went to Colonel Shaw and informed him of the position gained against us.
About this time a retreat had been determined, Colonel Shaw having informed me that we should have to evacuate the works. A few minutes more and all our forces were retreating in the direction of the camp. I had not left the battery but a few paces when I received a slight wound from a ball which passed through the leg of my pants, cutting my leg, but very shallow, though it prohibited me from walking for several days.
Many of my command, being near their homes and thoroughly acquainted and familiar with the vicinity of the island and the region of country around, succeeded in making their escape from the island after the action was over, and some after the surrender was made, before the could be taken prisoners-some leaving their baggage and others carrying both baggage and guns with them. These men, about 35 or 40 in number, are liable to do service,, and I have instructed several of them that I have seen to report to those officers of my company who were not taken prisoners for duty. Enoch F. Baxter, brevet lieutenant, Sergts. Lewis N. Simmons and Caleb Toler, and four corporals made their escape. The other commissioned officers and sergeants were made prisoners and paroled.
JAMES M. WHITSON,
Captain Company B, Eighth Regiment N. C. State Troops.
Numbers 27. Report of Colonel John V. Jordan, Thirty-first North Carolina Infantry.
STEAMER SPAULDING, February 17, 1862.
SIR: I herewith submit to you a report of the part taken by my regiment in the late engagement on Roanoke Island between the forces of the Confederate States and those of the United States.
The first appearance of the enemy was on the morning of the 6th instant, about 8 o'clock, as seen from Ashby's Landing by the forces stationed there, consisting of two companies (B and F, infantry) of