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gullies and ravines which opened toward the enemy, affording no protection from his fire. The naval battery was in our center, Gen. Reno's brigade on the right, Gen. Parke's in the center, and Gen. Foster's on the left; and the regiments most effective at Roanoke were all honorably distinguished here, as were the 4th and 5th Rhode Island, the 8th and 11th Connecticut, 9th New Jersey, and 51st Pennsylvania. There was, of course, a great disparity of numbers —probably three to one—but this was in effect a contest wherein infantry were required to charge and carry strong intrenchments, well provided with artillery. The loss was naturally much the greater on our side. Af. ter an hour's sharp fighting, the 21st Massachusetts, Col. Clark, accompanied by Gen. Reno, was ordered forward on a double-quick, and went over the Rebel breastworks. It was immediately charged by two Rebel regiments, and repulsed; when Capt. Fraser, being wounded, was taken prisoner, but soon captured his guard and escaped. The 4th Rhode Island, disliking its position in front of a Rebel battery of 5 guns, well backed by a fire from rifle-pits, next attempted a charge, and carried the battery at double-quick; finding an entrance between a brick-yard and the parapet. Once inside, the Colonel formed his right wing in line, and charged down upon the guns at full speed, capturing the entire battery, routing its supports, and planting his flag on the parapet. The 5th Rhode Island and 8th and 11th Connecticut immediately rushing up, our triumph at that point was secure. Gen. Reno, on our right, seeing that he was losing heavily from the
Rebel battery in his front, called up his reserve regiment, the 51st Pennsylvania, Col. Hartranft, and ordered a charge, in which the 21st and 24th Massachusetts, 51st New York, and 9th New Jersey participated. Its success was complete; and the whole line of Rebel works was very soon in our hands. The enemy were now in full flight; and Gen. Burnside ordered an advance on their track, which was led by Gen. Foster; but the speed of the fugitives was inimitable, and, when our van reached the bank of the Trent, opposite Newbern, they found that city on fire in seven different places; the splendid railroad bridge over the Trent a sheet of flame, having been fired by a scow-load of turpentine, drifted against it; and the Rebel troops, with all the locomotives and cars in and about Newbern, on their way inland toward Goldsboro’. The wind suddenly lulling, the fires were soon extinguished by sailors from our fleet; but the railroad bridge, market-house, and about a dozen other structures, were burned. Our captures at the Rebel intrenchments and in the city included 69 cannon, two steamboats, large quantities of munitions and stores, with some 500 prisoners. Our total loss was about 100 killed and 500 wounded: the former including Lt.-Col. Henry Merritt, 23d Massachusetts, Adjt. Frazer A. Stearns, of the 21st, Maj. Charles W. Le Gendre and Capt. D. R. Johnson, of the 51st, and Capt. Charles Tillinghast, of the 4th Rhode Island. The Rebel loss, beside prisoners, hardly exceeded 200, including Maj. Carmichael, killed, and Col. Avery, captured. Gen. Burnside, having undisturbed
wounded. We lost 15 killed, including Adjutant Gadsden, of the Zouaves, and 98 wounded, which was probably more than the loss of the Rebels. Gen. Reno gave his men six hours' much needed rest on the battle-field, and then returned to his boats, being under peremptory orders to do so. He was obliged to leave behind 14 of his more severely wounded. As Camden Court House was the only village traversed by Gen. Reno on his advance, this engagement has been sometimes designated the battle of Camden. By this time, Burnside's division, which had at no time exceeded 15,000 men, had become so widely dispersed, and had so many important points to guard, that its offensive efficiency was destroyed; and very little more of moment occurred in his department, until he was ordered by telegraph from Washington" to hasten with all the force he could collect to Fortress Monroe, where he arrived three days afterward. Gen. Foster was left in command of the department of North Carolina, with a force barely sufficient to hold the important positions left him by Gen. Burnside, until late in the Autumn, when, having been considerably réenforced by new regiments, mainly from Massachusetts, he resolved to assume the offensive. He led one expedition from Washington," through Williamston to Hamilton, on the Roanoke, where he expected to find and destroy some iron-clads in process of construction; but there were none. Pushing thence inland,” in the direction of Tarboro’, he advanced to within ten miles of that place, expecting to surround and
capture three Rebel regiments who had there been stationed ; but by this time a far superior Rebel force had, by means of telegraphs and railroads, been concentrated at that point, and he wisely retreated without molestation or loss, other than that inflicted by the rain, sleet, and deep mud through which the retreat was effected. The liberation of several hundred slaves was the chief result of this expedition. A few weeks later, Gen. Foster, with a considerably larger force—all that he could collect—set out from Newbern” on a march directly inland, intending to reach and destroy the important railroad junction at Goldsboro’. He encountered no impediments, save from trees felled across the road, until he reached South-west creek, where the bridge had been destroyed, and a regiment was found posted on the opposite bank, supporting three pieces of artillery. These were driven off by a charge of the 9th New Jersey, and 1 gun captured ; when, after two or three more skirmishes, Foster advanced” to within a mile of Kinston; where he encountered a considerable Rebel force under Gen. Evans, strongly posted between the Neuse and a deep swamp, whence the were driven after a short but sharp fight, and the bridge over the Neuse saved, though it had been fired by
the fugitives, of whom 400 were
taken prisoners. Evans fled through and abandoned the town; but reformed two miles beyond it, and continued his retreat, before Foster could bring his artillery over the injured bridge and attack him. Gen. Foster, having bewildered the
* July 4, 1862. * Nov. 3,
* Nov. G.
* Dec. 11. * Sunday, 14th.
GEN. BENJAMIN F. BUTLER, having, after the capture' of Fort Hatteras, returned to the North to find himself an officer without soldiers or employment, sought and obtained permission from the War Department to raise, in the New England States, six regiments of volunteers for special and confidential service. This undertaking involved fitful collisions with the general efforts then being made by the authorities of all the States to raise troops for service under Gen. McClellan; and Gen. B. was peculiarly unfortunate in thus colliding with Gov. Andrew, of Massachusetts, from which State he naturally expected the larger number of his troops. But his indefatigable energy and activity at length triumphed over all impediments; he having meantime been appointed, in facilitation of his enterprise, commander of a new military department composed of the six New England States,
with his headquarters at Boston. When his 6,000 men had been fully raised, and part of them dispatched, under Gen. J. W. Phelps, to Ship Island, he was stopped for a season by the lowering aspects of our relations with England, consequent on the seizure of Mason and Slidell; whose ultimate surrender he profoundly deprecated, believing that a war waged against us by Great Britain would double our effective military strength, while paralyzing that of the Rebellion, by the spectacle of hostilities waged against us in our extremity by that nation, which very many, alike in the North and in the South, regarded as our hereditary foe. The substitution” of Mr. Edwin M. Stanton for Gen. Simon Cameron, as head of the War Department, caused some further delay, during which an order was once issued to send Gen. Butler's troops from Fortress Monroe
to Port Royal; but it was, on his re* Jan. 13, 1862. monstrance, annulled before it had been acted on. Ship Island is one of quite a number of inconsiderable sand-bars which barely rise above the level of the Gulf between the mouths of the Mississippi and the Bay of Mobile. It is accounted 7 miles long by three-fourths of a mile in width, though its size, as well as its shape, is usually altered by each violent inland-driving storm. It has a good harbor at its western end, with groves of pine and stunted oak at the far east; while fresh water is obtained in plenty by sinking a barrel in the sand. Oysters and fish abound in the encircling waters; while the climate in Winter is soft, sunny, and tropical. New Orleans bears 65 miles W. S. W.; the mouth of Mobile Bay 50 miles E. N. E.; the mouths of the Mississippi from 90 to 110 S. S. W.; while Biloxi, on the Mississippi coast, is but 10 miles due north. Here Gen. Phelps and his brigade, having landed early in December, spent the Winter in very necessary drilling; the General having signalized his advent by issuing "an elaborate proclamation to the loyal citizens of the Southwest, declaring Slavery incompatible with free institutions and free labor, and its overthrow the end and aim of our Government—a declaration most unlikely to increase the number of White loyal citizens at that time and in that quarter, while pretty certain to be carefully kept from the knowledge of most others. Its first result was a feeling of amazement and dissatisfaction among a part of Gen. Phelps's subordinates; while a single copy, taken to the Mississippi shore, and dispensed to the first comer, was there eagerly diffused and
employed to arouse and embitter hostility to the Union. Mobile had been generally guessed the object of Gen. Butler's mysterious expedition, whose destination was not absolutely fixed even in the councils of its authors. An effort to réannex Texas had been considered, if not actually contemplated. It was finally decided, in a conference between Secretary Stanton and Gen. Butler, that a resolute attempt should be made on New Orleans; and though Gen. McClellan, when requested to give his opinion of the feasibility of the enterprise, reported that it could not be prudently undertaken with a less force than 50,000 men, while all that could be spared to Gen. Butler was 15,000, President Lincoln, after hearing all sides, gave judgment for the prosecution. A fortnight later, Gen. Butler went home to superintend the embarkation of the residue of his New England troops, 8,500 in number, 2,200 being already on ship-board, beside 2,000, under Phelps, at the Island. Three excellent Western regiments were finally spared him from Baltimore by Gen. McClellan, swelling his force on paper to 14,400 infantry, 580 artillery, 275 cavalry; total, 15,255 men, to which it was calculated that Key West might temporarily add two regiments, and Fort Pickens another, raising the aggregate to nearly 18,000. It in fact amounted, when collected at Ship Island, to 13,700. Gen. Butler.set out from Hampton Roads," in the steamship Mississippi, with his staff, his wife, and 1,400 men. The next night, the ship barely escaped wreck on a shoal off II atteras Inlet; and the next day was
* Dec. 4, 1861.
* Reb. 25, 1862, 9 P.M.