War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0187 Chapter XX. BATTLE OF ROANOKE ISLAND, N. C.

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on February 8. The committee are satisfied that Colonel Shaw held the possession of that post as long as he could have done without a useless sacrifice of human life; that on the 7th and 8th the officers and men in Fort Bartow displayed great coolness and courage and persevering effort to sustain their position and drive back the enemy's fleet.

In the battle of February 8 at the redoubt the officers and men exhibited a cool and deliberate courage worthy of veterans in the service, and sustained their position under an uninterrupted and deadly fire for more than five hours, repulsing the enemy in three separate and distinct charges, and only withdrew from the deadly conflict after exhausting their ammunition for the artillery and being surrounded and flanked by more than ten times their number. Instead of the result being "deeply humiliating" it was one of the most brilliant and gallant actions of the war, and in the language of their absent commanding general, "both officers and men fought firmly, coolly, efficiently, and as long as humanity would allow."

The committee are satisfied that the whole command did their duty, and they do not feel at liberty to designate any particular acts of companies or individuals. But in simple justice to Colonel Shaw-upon whom devolved the command by reason of the extreme illness of his superior, General Wise, and who has been censured for the result-the committee take pleasure in stating that there is no foundation for any just reflection upon him. He, upon February 7, after disposing of his infantry force and finding that the enemy did not intend landing, repaired immediately in person to Fort Bartow, where the bombardment was progressing, and made his way into the fort amid the most imminent danger from shot and shell, and there remained, encouraging the men and assisting, as far as he was able, until he discovered the enemy intended to effect a landing below, when he left the fort under the same dangerous circumstances of the morning, to take command of the infantry in person, and upon the 8th, at the redoubt, he commanded in person, sharing the dangers of his men for more than five hours with a firmness, coolness, and bravery worthy of the position he occupied.

Immediately upon the secession of the State of North Carolina from the Government of the United States and the adoption of the Constitution of the Confederate States of America, the authorities of that State commenced the construction of fortifications at Hatteras and Oregon Inlet and other points upon her coast, which were not completed when the State transferred her forts, arsenals, army,navy, and coast defenses to the Confederate Government. Shortly thereafter the attack was made upon Forts Hatteras and Clark, and they were taken, and the fortifications at Oregon Inlet were abandoned, and the armament, stores, and ammunition were removed to Roanoke Island. The enemy immediately appeared in force in Pamlico Sound, the waters of which are connected with Albemarle and Currituck Sounds by means of the two smaller sounds of Croatan and Roanoke. The island of Roanoke being situated between these two latter sounds, commanding the channels of either, became, upon the fall of Hatteras and the abandonment of Oregon Inlet, only second in importance to Fort Monroe. That island then became the key which unlocked all Northeastern North Carolina to the enemy, and exposed Portsmouth and Norfolk to a rear approach of the most imminent danger.

In the language of Brigadier-General Wise-