War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0183 Chapter XX. BATTLE OF ROANOKE ISLAND, N. C.

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I should have entirely dismantled the batteries at Forts Huger and Blanchard but for two reasons; First, because, in doing so, the enemy would have been made aware of it, and would, no doubt, have sent their ships up to take your position in the rear; and, second, because I had not time; for while we were throwing shells into the water a sharp conflict was heard in the direction of the encampment of the Thirty-first Regiment; so I immediately dispatched the companies to go by the beach and through the woods to your support.

While on my way to your headquarters I heard that a flag of truce had been sent out, and received orders not to spike the guns; but it was too late.

I do not hesitate to say, from the service done by the three barbette guns at Fort Bartow (the only guns brought fully into action), and the little damage sustained by that battery, notwithstanding the incessant and terrible fire kept up against it for more than six hours by perhaps sixty guns, that if all our batteries had been brought into action the enemy's fleet would have been destroyed or beaten back.

I desire to say that the officers and men brought under fire behaved in a highly creditable manner, and that they seemed to be in better condition the second day, notwithstanding their fatigue and loss of rest, than they were during the first. I would also say that the officers and men at the batteries not engaged evinced a fine spirit; and I have to regret for them, for myself, and for our cause, that they had not an opportunity to illustrate their skill and patriotism against the gunboats of the enemy.

I understand that the loss in the enemy's fleet was about five times as great as ours in the battery. Ours was 1 killed and 3 wounded. Major Hill will no doubt pay a just tribute to the service of Lieutenant Loyall, of the Navy, and Lieutenant Talcott, of the artillery, which cannot be too highly commended.

Allow me to join in the regret and mortification which I know you feel that our cause should have sustained a defeat while in our hands.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN S. TAYLOR,

Captain, C. S. Army, in charge Heavy Artillery.

Colonel H. M. SHAW,

Eighth Regiment N. C. State Troops, Commanding Forces Roanoke Island.

Numbers 33. Report of the Investigating Committee Confederate House of Representatives.

The committee, to whom was referred a resolution of the House of Representatives, instructing them to "inquire and report the causes and circumstances of the capitulation of Roanoke Island," have, had the same under consideration, and have given all the facts and circumstances connected with the defenses of the said island and its adjacent waters and of the capitulation on February 8, a most elaborate investigation.

The committee find that on August 21, 1861, Brigadier-General Gatlin was ordered to the command of the Department of North Carolina and the coast defenses of that State. On September 29 Brigadier General D. H. Hill was assigned to duty in North Carolina, and charged with the