War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0315 Chapter XX. ENGAGEMENT AT SOUTH MILLS, N. C.

Search Civil War Official Records

60 wounded. Among the former was Lieutenant Charles A. Gadsden, adjutant, who fell at the head of his regiment. He was a kind, considerate man and a most excellent soldier, and dies greatly lamented by all of his companions.

Colonel Howard, of the steamer Virginia, who was in command of the artillery, has not yet made his report, consequently I am unable to give any particulars concerning his part in the engagement, but believe that he behaved with coolness and bravery, as well as all of the men and officers under him.

Soon after the troops had returned to Roanoke Island the Rev. T. W. Conway, chaplain of the Ninth New York Volunteers, returned, bringing with him about 50 stragglers and some of the wounded left behind on the field of battle. He remained behind to bury the dead and to assist the wounded. On the morning of the 20th he started out to find the rebel pickets, and after going some distance he ws informed that the rebels had left the night before - re-enforcements which they had only a few moments before received included - for Suffolk, thinking that our forces were by a flank movement getting in their rear to cut them off. He returned to the hospital by the way of the battle-field, where he counted 30 of the enemy's dead. After the dead were buried and the wounded who could not be brought away cared for, all the stragglers who could be found armed themselves and started for the place of debarkation, and arrived here in safety the next morning.

In this enterprise the commanding general has received another evidence of the courage and enterprise of the troops under his command. Although the results of this expedition may seem disastrous on account of the loss of life, still the reconnaissance cannot fail to be of great value to him when connected with future operations.

In justice to other regiments I cannot say what I should like to about the officers and men of my own, consequently would only say that all alike did their duty faithfully and well.

I regret to add that owing to our limited transportation we were compelled to leave behind 14 of our wounded in care of Dr. Warren, of the Twenty-first Massachusetts, 2 or 3 of which were brought away by the chaplain of the Ninth New York. I have to-day sen a flag of truce by Major-Jardine, who was accompanied by the surgeon, chaplain, and 10 privates of the Ninth New York, for the purpose of bringing back the wounded and the bodies of Lieutenant Gadsden and our dead who were buried on the field.

Herewith you will find a complete list of the killed, wounded, and missing of the Fourth Brigade in the action of the 19th.*

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

RUSH C. HAWKINS,

Colonel Ninth New York Volunteers, Commanding Fourth Brigade.

Brigadier General JESSE L. RENO,

Commanding Second Div., Dept. of North Carolina, New Berne, N. C.

[Indorsement.]

HDQRS. SECOND DIV., DEPT. OF NORTH CAROLINA,

New Berne, N. C., May 15, 1862.

This amended report of Colonel Hawkins, made to me in obedience to your express orders, exhibiting the same inconsistencies and misstatements as the first or original report, is not deemed satisfactory, and

---------------

* Embodied in statement on p. 307.

---------------