War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0199 Chapter XX. BATTLE OF ROANOKE ISLAND, N. C.

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from seeing the position of the enemy, and finally advancing rapidly over bad roads upon the city. In the midst of all this not a complaint was heard; the men were only eager to accomplish their work. Every brigade, and in fact every regiment, and I can almost say every officer and man of the force landed was in the engagement. The men are all in good spirits, and under the circumstances are in good health. I beg to say to the General Commanding that I have under my command a division that can be relied upon in any emergency. A more detailed report will be forwarded as soon as I receive the brigade returns. The brigadier-generals, having been in the midst of their regiments whilst under fire, will be able to give me minute accounts.

I beg to say to the General Commanding the Army that I have endeavored to carry out the very minute instructions given me by him before leaving Annapolis, and thus far events have been singularly coincident with his anticipations. I only hope that we may in future be able to carry out in detail the remaining plans of the campaign. The only thing I have to regret is the delay caused by the elements.

I desire again to bear testimony to the gallantry of our naval fleet, and to express my thanks to Commodore Rowan and the officers under him for their hearty and cheerful co-operation in this movement. Their assistance was timely and of great service in the accomplishment of our undertaking.

I omitted to mention that there was a large arrival of re-enforcements of the enemy in New Berne during the engagement,which retreated with the remainder of the army by the cars and the country roads.

I have the honor, general, to be, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding Department North Carolina.


Adjutant-General U. S. Army.


New Berne, March 21, 1862.

I have the honor to report the following movements in my department since my hurried report of the 16th instant. The detailed report of the engagement on the 14th is not yet finished, but I hope will be ready to send by the next mail:

As I reported, our forces occupied this city and succeeded in restoring it to comparative quietness by midnight on the 14th and it is now as quiet as a New England village. I appointed General Foster military governor of the city and its vicinity, and he has established a most perfect system of guard and police. Nine-tenths of the depredations on the 14th, after the enemy and citizens fled from the town, were committed by the negroes before our troops reached the city. They seemed to be will with excitement and delight. They are now a source of very great anxiety to us. The city is being overrun with fugitives from the surrounding towns and plantations. Two have reported themselves who have been in the swamps for five years. It would be utterly impossible, if we were so disposed, to keep them outside of our lines, as they find their way to us through woods and swamps from every side. By my next dispatch I hope to report to you a definite policy in reference to this matter, and in the mean time shall be glad to receive any instructions upon the subject which you may be disposed to give.