War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0181 Chapter XX. BATTLE OF ROANOKE ISLAND, N. C.

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Numbers 31. Report of Major G. H. Hill, C. S. Army, Commanding Fort Bartow.


Croatan Sound, N. C., February 14, 1862.

COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the engagement between the enemy's fleet and Fort Bartow on the 7th and 8th instant:

On the morning of the 7th, while the men under my command were at drill in the fort, we saw that the fleet of the enemy was coming up the sound. I immediately cleared the fort for action and made every preparation in my power to give them a warm reception.

About 11.30 o'clock their fleet, consisting of about thirty gunboats, advanced within range of the four guns on the left flank of my battery (consisting of Numbers 6, a 57-cwt. 32-pounder, on a navy carriage in embrasure; Numbers 7, a rifled 32-pounder, on navy barbette carriage, and Nos. 8 and 9, 41, and 47 cwt. 32-pounders, on columbiad carriages), and opened fire from about sixty guns, throwing 9, 10, and 11 inch shell, with shrapnel, a few round shot, and every variety of rifle projectiles. We answered cautiously and slowly with the four guns that could be brought to bear upon them, and they soon fell back so as to mask gun Numbers 6, concentrating the fire on the three barbette guns, which now alone bore on them. We fired in all but fourteen shots from gun Numbers 6 this day.

Early in the action a shell exploded on the platform of the rifled gun, destroying a portion of the traverse circle, diminishing its traverse, so that it could be traversed only on those vessels of the fleet that were advanced farthest to the northward. The enemy maintained an uninterrupted fire for more than six hours, withdrawing at dark. We fired 30 rounds from the rifle gun and 161 rounds from Numbers 8 and 9, making, with the 14 rounds from Numbers 6, a total of 205 rounds expended. The projectiles used by me were principally round shot.

Early in the action the quarters were fired by the enemy's shells, and, notwithstanding the strenuous efforts of Lieutenant Gilliam, of Company I, who was sent with a detachment to rescue the property contained in them, nearly the whole of it, including the small-arms of my battalion, was destroyed.

While in this service Private Bagley, of Company I, was severely wounded by the explosion of a shell. Private Wilson, of Company L, was killed at the battery early in the action, and Private Baily, of same company, was mortally wounded. Sergeant Graves and Private Green, of Company L, were severely wounded at their guns, making the total of casualties 1 killed and 4 wounded.

The damage sustained by the work was repaired during the night by the negro laborers, under the direction of Lieutenant Talcott, who volunteered his services.

An additional supply of ammunition was sent to us from Fort Huger by Captain Taylor, which gave us, including amount on hand, 42 rounds for the riled gun and 155 rounds fo smooth-bore 32-pounders.

On Saturday, the 8th, my men were at their post by 5.30 a.m.. in fine spirits, expecting a renewal of the attack.

At 9 a.m.. the enemy's fleet attempted an advance up Croatan Sound, with the apparent intent of cutting off our re-enforcements landing on the north end of the island. I opened fire on them with the rifled gun