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 Research ACW US War Dept. Official Records HTML Ser. I, Vol. 4, Ch. XIII–Reports.



August 1, 1861-January 11, 1862.


Aug. 7, 1361.–The burning of Hampton, Va.
17, 1861.–Bvt. Maj. Gen. John E. Wool, U. S. Army, supersedes Major-General Butler in command of the Department of Virginia.
20, 1861.–Brig. Gen. Richard C. Gatlin, C. S. Army, assumes command of the defenses of North Carolina.
28,29, 1861.–Capture of the Confederate batteries at Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina.
Sept. 3, 1861.–Brig. Gen. Joseph R. Anderson, C. S. Army, ordered to North Carolina.
29, 1861.–Brig. Gen. Daniel H. Hill, C. S. Army, ordered to North Carolina.
Oct. 1, 1861.–Capture of the U. S. transport Fanny, near Chicamacomico, or Loggerhead Inlet, North Carolina.
4,1861.–Affair at Chicamacomico, North Carolina.
5, 1861.–Brig. Gen. Joseph K. F. Mansfield, U. S. Army, assigned to command at Hatteras Inlet.
13, 1861.–Brig. Gen. Thomas Williams, U. S. Army, supersedes Brigadier-General Mansfield.
21 1861.–Skirmish at Young’s Mill, near Newport News, Va.
Nov. 11, 1861.–Skirmish near New Market Bridge, near Fort Monroe, Va.
Dec. 21, 1861.–Brig. Gen. Henry A. Wise, C. S. Army, assigned to duty in North Carolina.
22 1861.–Skirmish near New Market, Va.
Jan. 3, 1862.–Reconnaissance from Camp Hamilton to Big Bethel, Va.
7,1862.–The Department of North Carolina constituted, to be commanded by Brig. Gen. A. E. Burnside, U. S. Army.
11, 1862.–The Burnside expedition sails from Hampton Roads for the coast of North Carolina.

AUGUST 7, 1861.– The burning of Hampton, Va.


No. 1.–Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler, U. S. Army.
No. 2.–Col. John W. Phelps, First Vermont Infantry.
No. 3.–Brig. Gen. John B. Magruder, C. S. Army.


No. 1.

Report of Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler, U. S. Army.


SIR: I have the honor to report that the First Vermont Regiment were embarked on Monday morning for New Haven, their time expiring on the 9th instant, which would be the time of their arrival. I had arranged that Colonel Carr’s regiment, the Second New York Volunteers, should be transferred from Old Point to strengthen Newport News.

Yon may remember that I said to you, when I had the honor of am interview at Washington on Saturday, that a demonstration on the part of the enemy would be made within the coming week. On my return, Tuesday morning, I found various indications thereof. On Wednesday, about 2 o’clock p.m., the patrol of Colonel Weber’s regiment discovered the enemy in force at New Market Bridge, about 2 1/2 miles from Hampton. About 4 o’clock they took one Mayhew, a deserter, who had swum the creek near New Market Bridge and delivered himself up, and brought him to me for examination. From his statements I learned his name, Mayhew; that he is a native of Bangor, Me., who, having landed in Georgia as a seaman, was impressed in a Georgia regiment, known by the name of “Baker’s Fire Eaters.” He is intelligent, and appears to be truthful. He stated that five regiments, including two Louisiana; one Alabama regiment, under Colonel Ex-Governor Winston; one North Carolina and one Georgia regiment, with two portions of battalions of artillery, and 300 Louisiana Zouaves, a picked battalion, left Yorktown and Williamsburg on Sunday, and marched to the neighborhood of Big Bethel, where they encamped until Tuesday. On Wednesday, at 11 o’clock, they marched to New Market Bridge, where they formed in order of battle, expecting an attack from me. They had eight guns; one rifled gun, two 32-pounder howitzers, two long 24s, and three smaller guns. This force was under the command of General Magruder. The regiments had numbered in the neighborhood of 1,000 men each, but had been reduced by sickness at Yorktown; Mayhew’s own regiment numbering but 650, 325 being sick with the measles. As near as I could gather, comparing his account with the notes I had from others, the enemy’s force was a little rising 5,000 men, although Mayhew represented it at 7,000. He further stated that it was understood in camp that an attack was to be made on Newport News, the force being then bivouacked but 5 miles from that point.

Dispositions were immediately made, such as seemed proper, for re-enforcing Newport News in case of an attack, or repelling an attack upon the troops encamped between the fortress and Hampton in case one was made. After riding through the camps and giving final instructions, I rode over to the bridge at Hampton, 30 feet of which nearest the town we had before removed, and at 11.20 o’clock, when I left, everything was still. A few minutes before 12 o’clock the enemy made an attempt to burn the bridge, and for that purpose attacked the guard thereon, who were protected by a barricade of planks. The enemy were driven back with the loss of 3 killed and several wounded. No casualties occurred on our side.

The enemy then proceeded to fire the town in a great number of places. By 12 o’clock it was in flames, and is now entirely destroyed. They gave but fifteen minutes’ time for the inhabitants to remove from their houses, and I have to-day brought over the old and infirm, who {p.568} by that wanton act of destruction are now left houseless and homeless. The enemy took away with them most of the able-bodied white men.

A more wanton and unnecessary act than the burning, as it seems to me, could not have been committed. There was not the slightest attempt to make any resistance on our part to the possession of the town, which we had before evacuated, as you were informed by my last dispatch. There was no attempt to interfere with them there, as we only repelled an attempt to burn the bridge. It would have been easy to dislodge them from the town by a few shells from the fortress, but I did not choose to allow an opportunity to fasten upon the Federal troops any portion in this heathenish outrage.

The town was the property of the secession inhabitants of Virginia, and they and their friends have chosen deliberately to destroy it, and under circumstances of cruel indifference to the inhabitants, who had remained in their homes, entirely without parallel. Indeed, for two months past, since Hampton has been within the power of my troops, and during the mouth that we occupied it, every exertion was used by me to protect the property from spoliation and the inhabitants from outrage, and I can safely say that $100 would cover all the damage done there in occupied houses. That there has been some appropriation of furniture by the troops from unoccupied houses is most true, but it had been substantially all taken from them and stored in the Seminary building. I knew this course would meet the approval of the Commanding General, but in a single hour the rebel army devoted to indiscriminate destruction both public and private buildings, the church and the court-house, as well as the cottage of the widow.

I confess myself so poor a soldier as not to be able to discern the strategical importance of this movement. I had fortified the churchyard with earth embankments, which were not destroyed by the fire, while the hymn of praise and the voice of prayer went up in the church on the last Sabbath of its occupation by Massachusetts troops. The poor citizens were told by their friends that this destruction was to prevent the use of their village as winter quarters for our troops. But I am sure it never entered my mind, and, I take leave to believe, the mind of the Commanding General, that there was the furthest intention of wintering any portion of the Federal troops at this point outside the garrison. We had believed that we were to follow the track of our Northern birds southward with the approach of frost.

No demonstration was made by the enemy save the burning of a deserted village, and to-day nothing has been done by the enemy except to withdraw his troops across New Market Bridge. I regret the military necessity, to which I yield the cordial recognition of my judgment, which called for the withdrawal of the four regiments and a half, which caused the evacuation of Hampton; not for our sakes, but because of the loss which has thereby been brought upon the inhabitants. This act upon the part of the enemy seems to me to be a representative one, showing the spirit in which the war is to be carried on on their part, and which perhaps will have a tendency to provoke a corresponding spirit upon our part, but we may hope not.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major-General, Commanding.

Lieutenant-General SCOTT, Commanding, &c.



No. 2.

Report of Col. John W. Phelps, First Vermont Infantry.

CAMP BUTLER, Newport News, Va., August 11, 1861.

SIR: Scouts from this post represent the enemy as having retired. They came to New Market Bridge on Wednesday, and left the next day. They-the enemy-talked of having 9,000 men. They were recalled by dispatches from Richmond. They had twenty pieces of artillery, among which was the Richmond Howitzer Battery, manned by negroes. Their wagons numbered sixty. Such is the information which our scouts gained from the people living on the ground where the enemy encamped. Their numbers are probably overrated; but with regard to their artillery, and its being manned in part by negroes, I think the report is probably correct. If they did have 9,000 men, and have thus withdrawn, without effecting any other object than the burning of Hampton, their retiring may be looked upon as nearly allied to a defeat; for the barbarous fierceness of spirit which they have exhibited in the destruction of Hampton, one of the oldest towns of Virginia, and which connects her history with a glorious past, cannot fail to injure their cause. It is an act which must inevitably meet with disapproval in all parts of the country, unless, indeed, the sentiments of liberality and generosity which are naturally inculcated by our free institutions have become wholly extinguished.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. W. PHELPS, Colonel, Commanding.

Lieut. CHARLES C. CHURCHILL, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Fort Monroe, Va


No. 3.

Reports of Brig. Gen. John B. Magruder, C. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS, Williamsburg, Va., August 2 [?], 1861.

SIR: As soon as I heard of the battle of Manassas I sent a force, under Colonel Johnston (cavalry), of 2,000 men, to make a demonstration in the immediate vicinity of Fort Monroe and Newport News. On the appearance of this force Hampton was set on fire and evacuated, and the troops, or a greater portion of them, were transferred to Newport News. The bridge over Hampton Creek, which the enemy had just rebuilt, was broken down by them to prevent pursuit. I had Newport News thoroughly and closely examined, and think there are probably 5,000 or 6,000 troops still there. It is naturally very strong; is now defended with a great many cannon, some of the heaviest caliber besides a war steamer at the wharf and a very large one at the point of Newport News. The Vandalia is lying broadside with the only open field of approach for a storming party. In any approach, this party would receive a fire of guns and musketry from the ships and one from the work, crossing each other at right angles, and sweeping the approach. The enemy keeps strictly within his works. In our last encounter with him two of his officers were killed within a short distance {p.570} of Hampton, on the other side of New Market Bridge. I have had the whole country scoured to Hampton, and to within half a mile of the enemy’s camp at Newport News and some 150 negroes brought up, the males to work on the fortifications and the rest delivered to their masters.

I sent yesterday 4,500 men to Young’s Mill, and will join them there to-night. It is my intention to occupy and hold, if possible-, the country between Fort Monroe and Newport News. I shall take some of the forces from here, and I shall be guided by circumstances in my future operations as to Newport News. There is a great deal of sickness on the Peninsula among the troops. Colonel Winston reported last week 1,450 sick at Yorktown. There have been, I am informed, nearly two deaths a day for some days past.

I went to a point opposite Newport News yesterday, and about 5 miles distant, returning last night, and I estimate the state of things there from my own observation and that of Colonel Pryor, who has had an opportunity for a month of comparing the relative number of tents at different periods observable there.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER, Brigadier-General, Commanding.


HEADQUARTERS, Bethel, August 9, 1861.

SIR: As soon as I learned the result of the battle of Manassas, I ordered about 2,000 men, under Colonel Johnston, of the cavalry, to proceed to the immediate vicinity of Hampton and Newport News, to make reconnaissance of those places, and to be guided by the results. I directed him also to scour the country up to the enemy’s pickets, and to capture and send up to the works at Williamsburg all the negroes to be found below a certain line. These duties were well performed by Colonel Johnston, and some 150 negroes were captured and delivered at Williamsburg. As soon as he appeared before Hampton a large balloon was sent up. Our force was reconnoitered, and a hasty evacuation of Hampton took place. The enemy kept close to their lines, and our troops returned to Yorktown and Williamsburg on the 29th and 30th July. As soon as these troops were rested, I ordered, at Young’s Mill, in Warwick County, the junction of a part of the troops from Williamsburg with a part of the garrison from Yorktown-in all about 4,000 infantry, 400 cavalry, and two batteries of the howitzer battalion, under Major Randolph. Having established a depot of supplies at Warwick Court-House, 2 miles in rear of Young’s Mill, I marched this force to Bethel Church, leaving a commissioned officer and one man from each company to guard the camps and supplies at Young’s Mill and the Court-House.

On the 6th instant, in the afternoon, I took post with my whole force at Whitney’s farm, within a mile of New Market Bridge, which I had rebuilt, the enemy having destroyed it. My force was then placed between the troops at and around Fort Monroe and those in garrison at Newport News.

In order to gain exact information of the force and movements of the enemy at Newport News, I had ordered Capt. Jefferson C. Phillips, of the Old Dominion Dragoons, to make a close reconnaissance of the place, which was done by him in his usual gallant and skillful manner. He succeeded in reaching a point far within the inmost pickets of the enemy, and at a distance of about 300 yards from the works, where he remained {p.571} until daybreak, an hour before which time troops were embarked in a steamer which came to the fort during the same night, but a large number remained behind. He could not ascertain whether this steamer brought troops or not. He, however, induced one of our farmers to visit the fort next day on business, and learned the departure of a Vermont regiment and the arrival of another, Colonel Phelps, of the Vermont regiment, late of the Regular Army, remaining behind in command. Sent also Private Joseph Phillips to reconnoiter the shipping and another part of the work, which he successfully did. He repreproaches to the works, which were extremely strong, and garrisoned with twenty-five guns. The next morning I displayed my force within a mile and a half of (Newport News) the work, with the hope of drawing the enemy out, but he remained close within his intrenchments. Disappointed in my expectations that the enemy would give me battle, I moved the left flank to within a mile of Hampton, and there a late copy of a Northern paper, the Tribune, containing an official report of General Butler, commanding at Old Point, to the Federal Secretary of War, was placed in my hands. I have not the report with me, but will forward it by the next mail. In it General Butler announces what his intentions are with respect to Hampton, about one-third of which, however, had been burned by the enemy when they evacuated it. He states in substance that this evacuation was the consequence of the withdrawal of 4,000 of his best troops to go to Washington; that he intended to fortify and make it so strong as to be easily defended by a small number of troops; that he did not know what to do with the many negroes in his possession unless he possessed Hampton; that they were still coming in rapidly; that as their masters had deserted their homes and slaves he should consider the latter free, and would colonize them at Hampton, the home of most of their owners, where the women could support themselves by attending to the clothes of the soldiers, and the men by working on the fortifications of the town.

Having known for some time past that Hampton was the harbor of runaway slaves and traitors, and being under the guns of Fort Monroe, it could not be held by us even if taken, I was decidedly under the impression that it should have been destroyed before; and when I found from the above report its extreme importance to the enemy, and that the town itself would lend great strength to whatever fortifications they might erect around it, I determined to burn it at once.

The gentlemen at Hampton, many of whom are in the army under my command, seemed to concur with me as to the propriety of this course. I also hoped that the sight of the conflagration might draw the troops from Newport News at night, and made dispositions accordingly. The Old Dominion Dragoons, under Captain Phillips, one company of cavalry, under Captain Goode, and one company from York and one from Warwick, were selected to burn the town. The former and the two latter of these companies were composed of persons from this portion of the country and many of them from Hampton. To support this party the Fourteenth Regiment, under Colonel Hodges, was detailed, and ordered to take post near Hampton, to defend the party in the town from an attack from an unexpected quarter. New Market Bridge, between Hampton and Newport News, was again taken possession of and the remainder of the force so disposed as to feel, while advancing upon, any troops coming from Newport News to the relief of Hampton. Several thousand of the enemy’s troops were encamped between Hampton and Fort Monroe, and had a strong picket guard on the bridge, connecting their positions with Hampton.


On arriving in town a portion of the two companies of dragoons and the York and Warwick foot proceeded at once to the bridge, and a sharp skirmish ensued between them and the picket, the latter giving way and retreating at the end of half an hour, with some loss on their side; only one man wounded on ours. Notice was then given to the few remaining inhabitants of the place, and those who were aged or infirm were kindly cared for and taken to their friends, who occupied detached houses. The town was then fired in many places and burned to the ground.

This detailed operation, carried on within easy range of the guns of Fort Monroe and in the immediate presence of an enemy outside of the work five or six times as strong as the party engaged in it, was executed most skillfully by Captain Phillips, of the Old Dominion Dragoons, ably seconded by Captain Goode, of the Mecklenburg Cavalry, and supported firmly by six companies of the Fourteenth Virginia Regiment, under Colonel Hodges. At about daybreak these troops returned, and after sleeping in camp for some hours the whole force returned and reoccupied Bethel, there not being sufficient fresh water below this place to supply either infantry or cavalry in such large bodies, the streams in that part of the Peninsula being all salt water.

The next day thirty wagons were sent to the houses nearest the enemy, under a strong escort, and returned laden with corn and oats. Since then the troops have been engaged in fortifying the position at Bethel. As soon as that is done they will move to Young’s Mill, which is a strong position, and fortify that, after which they will return to their respective posts, with the exception of the Fifth North Carolina Regiment, which will be stationed at Mulberry Island, to cover the works now being erected there.

The sickness among the troops in the Peninsula is grave, both in extent and character, all diseases taking more or less a typhoid character, and many deaths occurring at Yorktown about two a day. Some idea may be formed of its effects when I state that the Fifth North Carolina Regiment, composed of twelve companies and over 1,000 strong, is now less than 400 for duty. Every precaution has been taken and every arrangement will be made to prevent the disease and alleviate its effects, and the health of the troops now is reported as improving. Large numbers of the troops here have been sent across the York River to Gloucester, private families kindly offering to take charge of many of the patients. One or two regiments in Yorktown have remained healthy. They will be permitted to remain in their present encampments, and the rest should be encamped some miles from the works, but toward the enemy, at places supposed to be more healthy. The sickliest season has not yet arrived, and as this is by far the most unhealthy portion of the seat of war, I cannot too earnestly impress upon the authorities the necessity of attending promptly to the requisitions and suggestions of the medical officers as regards the sanitary condition of the troops in this Peninsula. Two hundred barrels of potatoes have arrived and been issued, and also a very seasonable supply of medicines; but as ,in addition to the measles, ague and fever, bilious and typhoid fever, symptoms of scurvy are apparent throughout the command, a continued supply of potatoes and other vegetables, which I understand are abundant and very cheap farther South, is essential. Typhoid has been so prevalent and fatal at Jamestown Island as to make the withdrawal of the men from that post necessary. They will be encamped in the immediate vicinity on one of Mr. William Allen’s farms, supposed to be more healthy.


I have called out a large force of negroes, at considerable expense to the Government, to complete the fortifications upon which our troops have been so laboriously working. The troops can no longer do this work, and I respectfully request that the Quartermaster-General be directed to furnish to the assistant quartermaster-general of this department, Captain Bloomfield, the funds necessary for the payment of the laborers without delay, as a great many of them are free negroes, who have families, who must starve if they are not paid, and to all I promised prompt payment. There are, perhaps, 1,000 now at work on the Peninsula.

It is hardly necessary for me to say that I wish the sanitary condition of the troops to be as little known as possible, for obvious reasons.

Notwithstanding this state of things, those-men who can take the field are in fine spirits, and so keen for an encounter with the enemy that I believe Newport News would be carried, though it is excessively strong, and garrisoned by troops and supported by a naval force more than equal to my own in numbers. I do not think it can be done, however, without a loss of one-half of our men in killed and wounded. It could not be held by us for any length of time if it were taken, as the troops from Fort Monroe in much larger force could place themselves in our rear, and the position itself could be shelled by the enemy’s ships, both in front and on the left flank. Its temporary possession, therefore, would not compensate for the loss necessary in taking it. One of the principal objects of my present operations has been to force the attention of the authorities at Washington to this Peninsula, to prevent further re-enforcements from being drawn from Fort Monroe and its vicinity for the army at Washington to this part of the State. This, I think, has been accomplished, as re-enforcements have arrived both at Fort Monroe and Newport News. I also caused the enemy’s telegraphic communications between Old Point and Newport News to be destroyed. This I delayed until the last moment, with the hope of receiving a field machine from Richmond in time to connect it with the enemy’s line, and thus ascertain their communications between Old Point and Newport News. As this field telegraph would be of essential use at Williamsburg on the long lines of defense, consisting of detached works, I beg that Dr. Morris, president of the company, may be ordered to furnish me one at that place without delay, accompanied by a skillful operator by sound.

I am, general, very respectfully, &c.,

J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Col. GEORGE DEAS, Adjutant-General C. S. Army.


AUGUST 20, 1861-JANUARY 11, 1862.– Affairs, generally, in North Carolina.

Report of Brig. Gen. Richard C. Gatlin, C. S. Army, including operations to March 19, 1862.

EVERETTSVILLE, N. C., October 1, 1862.

On the 19th of August, 1861, being on duty at Wilmington, N. C.,* I received a telegram from the Adjutant-General of the Confederate {p.574} Army, notifying me that I had been appointed a brigadier-general in the Provisional Army and assigned to the command of the Department of North Carolina and the coast defenses of that State. Accordingly, on the 20th of August, I issued the necessary orders assuming the command.

On the 26th of August I received a telegram from General Huger, stating that a fleet had just sailed from Hampton Roads, supposed to be for the coast of North Carolina. I immediately telegraphed the information to Governor Clark, and requested that all the available troops then within reach be sent to Goldsborough. On the 28th a steamer arrived at Wilmington, and reported that a large fleet of the enemy were assembling at Hatteras Inlet the day previous. Orders were at once sent to the troops at Goldsborough to proceed with dispatch to New Berne, and on the morning of the 29th I set out for that town, where I arrived that afternoon. About 11 o’clock p.m. a steamer arrived, with the information that Fort Hatteras had surrendered to the enemy about 10 o’clock a.m. on that day after a bombardment of near two days by a large fleet of the enemy, and that the garrison, numbering 580, including Commodore Samuel Barron and Col. J. A J. Bradford, were made prisoners of war. The facts were made known to the Confederate and State Governments, and more troops asked for.

On the 30th of August steps were taken to complete Fort Lane, the site of another battery for the defense of the Neuse selected, and the point for blocking that river fixed upon. The forces then at New Berne were Campbell’s regiment and Singeltary’s battalion. A few days after Vance’s regiment and Brem’s battery arrived. The former was forwarded to Bogue Banks, and was followed in a few days by Campbell’s regiment, upon a report of an intended attack upon Fort Macon by the enemy’s fleet.

With Hatteras in the possession of the enemy it was readily perceived that our only hope for protection to the eastern counties would be to maintain the ascendency upon the sounds and rivers. Hence I drew the-attention of the War Department to the subject in a letter, dated the 4th of September, recommending the construction of a number of gunboats, to be placed upon Pamlico Sound, and requested that the subject should be brought to the notice of the President himself.

About this time I received information from General Huger of his having sent the Third Georgia Regiment, Colonel Wright commanding, to the assistance-of Fort Hatteras, but upon their arrival at Roanoke Island, learning that the fort had fallen, they landed, and were engaged in putting the island in a state of defense. I requested that he would continue to occupy the island until I could send a force to relieve Colonel Wright’s command.

About the 7th of September, Brig. Gen. J. R. Anderson arrived at New Berne, with instructions from the War Department to report to me to take charge of the coast defenses of the State. He was accordingly placed on that duty.

After satisfying myself that the enemy contemplated no immediate move from Fort Hatteras, and that the reports of an intended attack upon Fort Macon were without foundation, I proceeded to and established my headquarters at Goldsborough, on the 13th of September. My first object was to organize the staff corps of the department, and the second to collect the necessary forces. This last had to be done by application to the Confederate and State Governments, as I had no authority to raise troops. My plan was to place a sufficient number of troops at the exposed points, to hold the enemy in check should he {p.575} land on the coast, and to establish a reserve of four or six regiments at Goldsborough, to be sent to the coast only upon the landing of the enemy. At this time the force under my command was as follows, viz: The Eighteenth and Twentieth Regiments and Edmunston’s company of cavalry at Wilmington; Singeltary’s battalion, Brem’s battery, and Whitford’s artillery at New Berne; the Seventh and Twenty-sixth Regiments on Bogue Banks; three companies of infantry and four companies of artillery at Fort Macon; two companies of the Seventeenth Regiment at Washington; and the Third Georgia Regiment and a detachment of the Seventeenth Regiment at Roanoke Island. Moore’s battery was at Raleigh, Lane’s and Parker’s regiments encamped above that city, and Clingman’s regiment at Asheville. These three regiments and the battery were sent by the governor to Wilmington, where they arrived early in October. He also sent the Eighth Regiment to Roanoke Island, where they arrived the latter part of September. Colonel McMillan’s regiment. Georgia volunteers, ordered to report to me, arrived at Goldsborough on the 21st September, and was sent to Washington.

On the 14th of September Major Hall, Seventh Regiment, was directed to proceed to Hyde County, with two companies of his regiment. His force was afterwards increased by the addition of two companies of the Seventeenth from Washington, three companies of the Thirty-third, and two companies of the Second Regiment, not complete when the regiment left for Virginia. They ultimately joined their regiment. Authority being granted, a number of companies for local defense and special service were being raised.

Early in September the blocking of the Pamlico River, 8 miles below Washington, was commenced, and a battery on each side of the river erected for its protection. It was soon perceived that it would be impossible for General Anderson to give proper attention to the entire coast. The plan of dividing the coast into three districts, and placing each in charge of an experienced officer, then suggested itself. With this view I wrote to the War Department on the 18th September, requesting that two additional brigadier-generals be sent to me. Only one, however, was ordered, viz, Brig. Gen. D. H. Hill, who was assigned by the War Department to the command of all that part of the coast lying north of White Oak River. Before allowing him to assume command of Roanoke Island I urged upon the Department, in letters dated the 1st and 7th of October, the propriety of establishing the District of the Albemarle, and placing it under an experienced officer, but this was not permitted. Had it been acceded to at the time, it is fair to conclude that the island would have been placed in such a state of defense as, with a reasonable force, it might have be-en successfully defended against General Burnside’s attack in February, and thus all our after-misfortunes on the coast avoided. I may dispose of this subject by stating that the district was finally established on the 21st of December, General Wise placed in command, and the district transferred to General Huger’s department. General Hill’s was named the “District of Pamlico,” General Anderson’s the “District of Cape Fear.”

General Hill entered upon his duties about the 4th of October, and acted vigorously in placing his district in a state of defense. On the 21st of October I received notice from General Huger that a fleet was preparing to sail from New York for the South, and tendering assistance should a landing be effected on our coast, and on the 26th of October a telegram from the Secretary of War announced its having sailed, and that it was believed the enemy intended to land a force of {p.576} some 15,000 men below Fort Macon with the view of attacking New Berne. Having but thirty-five companies in that quarter, including the garrison of Fort Macon, and no reserve, I begged for re-enforcements.

On the 26th of October Col. G. W. C. Lee, aide-de-camp to the President, arrived at Goldsborough with a regiment and a battalion of Georgia volunteers. The Secretary of War directed that these troops be held in reserve, and not sent to the coast until a landing was effected. Generals Hill and Anderson called out the militia of the neighboring counties, and such other preparations were made to resist the enemy as our limited means would permit. The fleet, however, had sailed, not for our coast, but that of South Carolina, and upon the fall of Hilton Head and other defenses of Beaufort, S. C., assistance was asked for by Governor Pickens. By authority of the Secretary of War General Anderson sent to South Carolina Moore’s battery, with Clingman’s and Radcliff’s regiments. At the time this force was considered but temporarily detached from this department, but it did mot return to it until after the fall of New Berne. When it was ascertained that the fleet had passed our coast Colonel Lee’s command returned to Virginia.

The defensive works in both districts were pushed forward during the months of November and December. General Hill, who had done much in a short time to place his district in a proper state of defense, was, by direction of the Secretary of War, relieved by Brig. Gen. L. O’B. Branch the latter part of November. The force in the District of the Pamlico was increased by the addition of Spruill’s regiment of cavalry; and the Thirty-first Regiment, which had been ordered by the governor to Beaufort County to complete its organization, was ordered to Roanoke Island to relieve the Third Georgia Regiment. It arrived at its destination on the 12th of December. A number of companies of infantry, artillery, and cavalry, for local defense and special service, had been raised. The year closed with rumors of another fleet being in course of preparation for a descent upon the Southern coast.

Being satisfied, from the reported character of the vessels to be used in this new expedition, that it was designed for our sounds, I addressed a letter to the War Department on the 3d of January, 1862, drawing attention to the want of troops in this department, and urged that a large reserve force be sent to Goldsborough and placed at my disposal. I also wrote to Governor Clark on the same day, requesting that the newly-formed regiments, though but partially armed and suffering much from sickness, be sent to me. Soon these regiments were reported in readiness to break up their camps, and on the 8th of January the movement commenced. The Thirty-third, Thirty-fifth, and Thirty-seventh were sent to New Berne, and the Thirty-fourth Regiment halted at Goldsborough, to wait for its arms, which had been promised by the War Department.

On the 17th of January I received information from General Branch of the arrival at Hatteras of forty-two steamers and a number of sail vessels, and after information confirming me in the opinion that Burnside’s expedition was assembling at that point, on the 24th of January I again addressed the War Department, stating that the expedition was of such a magnitude that to resist it successfully our forces should be largely increased, and drew attention to my letter of the 3d of January relative to a reserve force being placed at Goldsborough.

On the 22d of January I re-quested Governor Clark to call out the militia of Edgecombe, Pitt, Beaufort, Greene, Wayne, Lenoir, Jones, and Craven Counties, and direct them to report to General Branch. The {p.577} defensive works in General Branch’s district were pushed forward with industry, and that gallant officer spoke hopefully of his ability to defend New Berne.

On the 30th of January I wrote to the War Department relative to the high stage of water in the Roanoke, and the capability of the enemy’s gunboats ascending that river as high as the bridge at Weldon, should they pass Roanoke Island; requested that, in the event of the island falling into the hands of the enemy, upon the news reaching Richmond, that at least a light battery be sent to Halifax, to which point I would send a regiment of infantry, the only troops I could spare; represented my deficiency of troops, and requested to be informed what re-enforcements I might expect in case of the fall of Roanoke Island or an attack on New Be-rue.

On the 10th of February a telegram from General Huger announced the fall of Roanoke Island. The Thirty-fourth Regiment was at once ordered to Roanoke for the defense of that river, and the governor having sent down the Thirty-eighth Regiment, it was dispatched to Weldon, to protect the bridge at that point. Two pieces of artillery, with an undrilled detachment, having been sent to me, were ordered to the same point; also Captain Tucker’s company of cavalry. I wrote to the War Department what had been done, and requested additional forces be sent to that section, as the force then en route were only sufficient to check the enemy should he attempt to ascend the river. Finally, Captain Meade was sent to locate batteries on the Roanoke. This officer had been sent by me a few weeks previous to examine that section of the country. He furnished me with a map of the country and a memoir of his observations. On the 26th of February I received an order from the War Department transferring the counties of Martin, Halifax, Bertie, and Northampton to the department of General Huger.

The headquarters of the Tenth Regiment (artillery), Col. J. A. J. Bradford commanding, was established at Goldsborough February 16, 1862.

With the view of concentrating the forces in the District of the Pamlico the Seventh and Twenty-sixth Regiments were sent to New Berne. Major Hall’s command was withdrawn from Hyde County, and the two companies of the Seventh and the three companies Thirty-third Regiment sent to New Berne, and the two companies of the Seventeenth to Washington. The batteries on Huggins’ and Harker’s Islands were withdrawn, and the garrison of Fort Macon reduced to five companies of artillery, the greatest number that could be sheltered in the fort in case of siege, the surplus troops sent to New Berne, and the fort supplied with seven months’ provisions.

On the 27th of February I made, by direction of the War Department, a report of my forces, their disposition, and my means and plans of defense. In it was stated, “You will perceive that a large increase to the force at New Berne should be made to place it on an equality with the force that attacked Roanoke Island,” and concluded by, “You will perceive that the force under my command is very inadequate to the defense of so extensive a coast against an enemy who has possession of our sounds and can direct his large columns against any point he may elect.” On the 3d of March I received a telegram from the Secretary of War, directing the withdrawal of the troops from Washington and the sending them to Suffolk, Va.

To satisfy myself that the defensive works at New Berne were such as they should be, I ordered a board of officers, to consist of Colonel Lee, {p.578} infantry, Lieutenant-Colonel Crasen and Major Thompson, artillery, and Captain Meade, engineers, to assemble at New Berne on the 7th of March to examine the works, and to recommend such alterations and additions as might appear proper, and in order not to delay they were to indicate from time to time the proposed alterations and additions to General Branch, who was instructed to carry out the recommendations of the board as speedily as possible. This board would have been ordered to assemble at a much earlier day but for the impracticability of securing the services of Captain Meade, an engineer, in whose capacity I had great confidence, and who I had been compelled to send to erect batteries on the Roanoke, as before stated.

I went to New Berne on the 7th of March, and on the 8th inspected the river defenses in company with General Branch and the board. I had gone to New Berne with the intention of remaining there for several days, but found myself so unwell on the 9th as to render a return to Goldsborough advisable.

On the 13th of March I received a note from General Branch announcing the advance of the enemy up the Neuse. The fact was telegraphed to the governor and the War Department, and re-enforcements asked for. I sent orders to General Anderson to send up Lame’s regiment, the only troops sufficiently near Wilmington to be available for the occasion, and I replied to General Branch’s note that I would join him as soon as I had satisfied myself that I had done all I could at Goldsborough in collecting re-enforcements. Colonel Lane’s regiment arrived and was forwarded on the night of the 13th; also Captain Atwood, of the Twentieth Regiment, with a part of his company, who, being on furlough and just arrived at Goldsborough, volunteering for the service, were armed and sent down. No other re-enforcements reached Goldsborough.

My intention of going to New Berne was frustrated by a painful attack of sickness, which confined me to my bed. The news of the fall of New Berne reached me on the evening of the 14th of March. General Branch’s report of that affair has been published. As it was evident that we had been overwhelmed by vastly superior numbers, I dispatched General Anderson to Richmond on the 15th of March, to represent to the President the necessity of sending a force sufficient to cope with that of the enemy, and desired him to say to the President that, not having confidence in my health or ability to command such a force, I hoped a general of superior rank would be sent with the troops.

After the fall of New Berne the troops retreated by the several roads leading to Kinston, hence that place was selected for reassembling General Branch’s forces. General French arrived at Goldsborough on the 10th of March, and was sent on the 17th to take command of the District of the Pamlico. On the 18th, Clingman’s and Radcliff’s regiments, having arrived from South Carolina, were sent to the camp near Kinston, and General Ransom, having reported, was sent to the same point. I designed, as soon as the camp and garrison equipage lost at New Berne could be replaced, to push the troops as far down as Bachelor’s Creek, and thus confine the enemy as near New Berne as possible. On the 19th of March, 1862, I was relieved from duty in the State of North Carolina on account of ill health.

I may be permitted to conclude this rapid sketch by stating that we failed to make timely efforts to maintain the ascendency on the Pamlico Sound and thus admitted Burnside’s fleet without a contest; we failed to put a proper force on Roanoke Island, and thus lost the key {p.579} to our interior coast; and we failed to furnish General Branch with a reasonable force, and thus lost the important town of New Berne. What I claim is that these failures do not by right rest with me.

As to the habit of intemperance, so recklessly attributed to me by certain newspapers in this State soon after the fall of New Berne, I have to say that the charge is without foundation, as can be established by the certificate of the medical director of the department, with whom I was in daily official intercourse, and who was my medical adviser for four or five months preceding that event, and the statement of Surgeon Wyatt M. Brown, C. S. Army, who was my attending physician on the 14th of March, 1862.

R. C. GATLIN, Brigadier-General, Provisional Army C. S.

* As commander of the “Southern Department, Coast Defense.” See his orders of June 22, 1861, Series IV, Vol. I.


AUGUST 28-29, 1861.– Capture of the Confederate Batteries at Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina.


No. 1.–Orders for the expedition from Fort Monroe, Va.
No. 2.–Maj. Gen. John E. Woo], U. S. Army.
No. 3.–Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler, U. S. Army.
No. 4.–Col. Max Weber, Twentieth New York Infantry.
No. 5.–Commander John P. Gulls, U. S. Navy.
No. 6.–Lieut. Francis U. Farquhar, U. S. Corps of Engineers.
No. 7.–Flag Officer Samuel Barron, C. S. Navy.
No. 8.–Congratulatory orders from General Wool.

No. 1.

Orders for the expedition from Fort Monroe, Va.


SIR: The General-in-Chief directs that after consultation with Commodore Stringham, U. S. Navy, you prepare a sufficient detachment to accompany an expedition, under Commander Stellwagen, against some batteries on Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina. It is desirable that a portion of the detachment fixed by your judgment should be regulars, and the remainder as far as possible selected volunteers. The detachment will return to Fort Monroe after the expedition.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

Maj. Gen. JOHN E. WOOL, U. S. A., Commanding, &c., Fort Monroe, Va.


HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, August 21, 1861.

SIR: In reply to your letter of the 20th instant, the General-in-Chief directs me to say that this and the previous letter from you on the subject have been referred to the Navy Department; also, that it was not intended you should take any further action in relation to the expedition {p.580} than to provide such troops for the same as on conference with Commodore Stringham should be found sufficient for the purpose. The expedition originated in the Navy Department, and is under its control.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General.

Maj. Gen. JOHN E. WOOL, U. S. A., Commanding, &c., Fort Monroe, Va.



HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA, Fort Monroe, Va., August 25, 1861.

1. Major-General Butler will prepare 860 troops for an expedition to Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina, to go with Commodore Stringham, commanding Home Squadron, to capture several batteries in that neighborhood. The troops will be as follows: 200 men from Camp Butler and 600 from Camp Hamilton, with a suitable number of commissioned officers, and one company (B) of the Second Artillery from Fort Monroe. They will be provided with 10 days’ rations and water and 140 rounds of ammunition. General Butler will report as soon as he has his troops prepared to Flag Officer Stringham, and he will be ready to embark at 1 o’clock to-morrow. As soon as the object of the expedition is attained the detachment will return to Fort Monroe.

2. Captain Tallmadge, chief quartermaster, will provide a detachment of 860 men for the expedition to Hatteras Inlet, with a suitable quantity of water for 10 days’ consumption, and the chief commissary of subsistence, Captain Taylor, will provide it with rations for the same length of time. These officers will report the execution of these orders by 10 o’clock to-morrow, if possible.

By command of Major-General Wool:

C. C. CHURCHILL, First Lieutenant, Third Artillery, Act. Asst. Adjt. Gen.


No. 2.

Reports of Maj. Gen. John B. Wool, U. S. Army.


GENERAL: Agreeably to your instructions of the 12th and 21st August last, after consultation with Commodore Stringham, I prepared 860 men, under the command of Major-General Butler, to proceed with the commodore’s expedition against some batteries at Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina.

On Monday, the 26th ultimo, the expedition left the Roads for the inlet. Major-General Butler returned on Saturday morning, when he communicated verbally the following result, viz: Captured at the inlet 715 prisoners, 1,000 stand of arms, 30 pieces of cannon, one 10-inch columbiad, a prize brig loaded with cotton, a sloop loaded with provisions and stores, two light-boats, a schooner in ballast, 5 stand of colors, and 150 bags of coffee, &c.

Being considered a highly important position with reference to privateers, I ordered Major-General Butler to proceed at once to Washington, {p.581} and ascertain whether it was to be held and occupied with troops. I have received by telegraph from Washington to Baltimore information that the Government intend to hold it. We have of the army at that place 812 non-commissioned officers and privates, besides officers. I am preparing to send to-morrow for the post provisions and ordnance stores.

The Sixteenth Massachusetts Regiment, 840 strong, has just arrived. I am informed that two other regiments will be forwarded very soon.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN E. WOOL, Major-General.

Lieut. Gen. WINFIELD SCOTT, General-in-Chief of the Army.



GENERAL: I have received the Special Order, No. 157, directing Brig. Gen. John P. Reynolds to report to me for assignment to the command at Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina. It will be highly conducive to the public interest to have such an able and experienced officer in charge of this position. I have made all the arrangements in respect to men and materials to strengthen that post, and am only waiting for proper transports to forward them. There are none here as yet, though I have made every effort in my power to obtain them. I am informed that the Spaulding will arrive to-morrow. I shall detail a company of regulars, and send forward the balance, seven companies, of Hawkins’ regiment, recalling Col. Max Weber’s German regiment, much complained of by the inhabitants for depredations and various outrages upon them. I inclose a report of Commander Gillis, U. S. Navy, and Lieutenant Farquhar, U. S. Engineers, describing the forts, their strength, &c. [Nos. 5 and 6.]

On Brigadier-General Reynolds’ arrival I propose, with your concurrence, to take possession of Ocracoke Inlet.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN E. WOOL, Major-General.

Lieut. Gen. WINFIELD SCOTT, Commanding the Army.


No. 3.

Report of Maj. Gen. Benj. F. Butler, U. S. Army, commanding expedition.

U. S. FLAG-SHIP MINNESOTA, August 30, 1861.

GENERAL: Agreeably to your orders, I embarked on the transport steamers Adelaide and George Peabody 500 of the Twentieth Regiment New York Volunteers, Colonel Weber commanding; 220 of the Ninth Regiment New York Volunteers, Colonel Hawkins commanding; 100 of the Union Coast Guard, Captain Nixon commanding, and 60 of the Second U. S. Artillery, Lieutenant Larned commanding, as a force to operate in conjunction with the fleet, under command of Flag-Officer Stringham, against the rebel forts at Hatteras Inlet.

We left Fort Monroe on Monday, at 1 o’clock p.m. The last ship of {p.582} our fleet arrived off Hatteras Inlet about 4 o’clock Tuesday afternoon. Such preparations as were possible for the sanding were made in the evening, and at daylight next morning dispositions were made for an attack upon the forts by the fleet and for the landing of the troops.

Owing to the previous prevalence of southwest gales a heavy surf was breaking on the beach. Every effort was made to land the troops, and after about 315 were landed, including 55 marines from the fleet and the regulars, both the iron boats, upon which we depended, were swamped in the surf and both flat-boats stove; and a brave attempt being made by Lieutenant Crosby, U. S. Navy (serving with the army as port captain at Fortress Monroe), who had volunteered to come down with the steam-tug Fanny, belonging to the Army, to land in a boat from the war steamer Pawnee, resulted in the beaching of the boat, so that she could not be got off.

It was impracticable to land more troops because of the rising wind and sea. Fortunately, a 12-pounder rifled boat gun, loaned us by the flag-ship, and a 12-pounder howitzer were landed, the last slightly damaged. Our landing was completely covered by the shells of the Monticello and the Harriet Lane. I was on board the Harriet Lane, directing the disembarkation of the troops by means of signals, and was about landing with them at the time the boats were stove. We were induced to desist from further attempts at landing troops by the rising of the wind, and because in the mean time the fleet had opened fire upon the nearest fort, which was finally silenced, and its flag struck. No firing had opened upon our troops from the other fort, and its flag was also struck. Supposing this to be a signal of surrender, Colonel Weber advanced his troops already landed upon the beach.

The Harriet Lane, Captain Faunce, by my direction, tried to cross the bar to get in the smooth water of the inlet, when fire was opened upon the Monticello (which had proceeded in advance of us) from the other fort. Several shots struck her, but without causing any casualties, as I am informed. So well convinced were the officers of both Navy and Army that the forts had been surrendered at this time, that the Susquehanna had towed the frigate Cumberland to an offing. The fire was then reopened (as there was no signal from either) upon both forts.

In the mean time a few men from the Coast Guard had advanced up the beach with Mr. Wiegel, who was acting as volunteer aide, and whose gallantry and services I wish to commend, and took possession of the smaller fort, which was found to have been abandoned by the enemy, and raised the American flag thereon.

It had become necessary, owing to the threatening appearance of the weather, that all the ships should make an offing, which was done with reluctance, from necessity, thus leaving the troops upon shore, a part in possession of the small fort, about 700 yards from the large one, and the rest bivouacked upon the beach, near the place of landing, about 2 miles north of the forts.

Early the next morning the Harriet Lane ran inshore for the purpose of covering any attack upon the troops. At the same time a large steamer was observed corning down the sound inside the land, with re-enforcements for the enemy, but she was prevented from landing by Captain Johnson, of the Coast Guard, who had placed the two guns from the ship and a 6-pounder captured from the enemy in a small sand battery, and opened fire upon the rebel steamer. At 8 o’clock the fleet opened fire again, the flag-ship being anchored as near as the water allowed and the other ships coming gallantly into action. It was evident, {p.583} after a few experiments, that our shot fell short, and increased length of fuse was telegraphed, and firing commenced, with shells of fifteen seconds’ fuse.

I had sent Mr. Fiske, acting aide-de-camp, on shore, for the purpose of gaining intelligence of the movements of the troops and of the enemy. I then went with the Fanny, for the purpose of effecting a landing of the remainder of the troops, when a white flag was run up from the fort. I then went with the Fanny over the bar into the inlet. At the same time the troops under Colonel Weber marched up the beach, and signal was made from the flag-ship to cease firing.

As the Fanny rounded in over the bar, the rebel steamer Winslow went up the channel, having a large number of secession troops on board, which she had not landed. We threw a shot at her from the Fanny, but she proved to be out of range. I then sent Lieutenant Crosby on shore to demand the meaning of the white flag. The boat soon returned, permitting Mr. Wiegel, with the following written communication from Samuel Barron, late captain in the U. S. Navy:

FORT HATTERAS, August 29, 1861.

Flag-Officer Samuel Barron, C. S. Navy, offers to surrender Fort Hatteras, with all the arms and munitions of war. The officers allowed to go out with side-arms and the men without arms to retire.

S. BARRON, Commanding Naval Defenses Virginia and North Carolina.

And also a verbal communication, stating that he had in the fort 615 men and 1,000 more within an hour’s call, but that he was anxious to spare the effusion of blood.

To both the written and verbal communications I made the reply which follows, and sent it by Lieutenant Crosby:

AUGUST 29, 1861.

Benj. F. Butler, major-general, U. S. Army, commanding, in reply to the communication of Samuel Barron, commanding forces at Fort Hatteras, cannot admit the terms proposed. The terms offered are these: Full capitulation; the officers and men to he treated as prisoners of war. No other terms admissible. Commanding officers to meet on hoard flag-ship Minnesota to arrange details.

[BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major-General, U. S. Army, Commanding Volunteers.]

After waiting three-quarters of an hour, Lieutenant Crosby returned, bringing with him Captain Barron, Major Andrews, and Colonel Martin, of the rebel forces, who, on being received on board the tug Fanny, informed me that they had accepted the terms proposed in my memorandum, and had come to surrender themselves and their command as prisoners of war. I informed them that as the expedition was a combined one from the Army and Navy, the surrender must be made on board the flag-ship to Flag-Officer Stringham as well as to myself. We went on board the Minnesota for that purpose. On arriving there, the following articles of capitulation were signed, which I hope will meet your approval. [See Appendix A.]

I then landed, and took a formal surrender of the forts, with all the men and munitions of war, inspected the troops to see that the arms had been properly surrendered, marched them out, and embarked them on board the Adelaide, and marched my own troops into the fort, and raised our flag upon it, and the cheers of our men and a salute of 13 guns, which had been shotted by the enemy.

The embarkation of the wounded, which was conducted with great care and tenderness from a temporary wharf erected for the purpose, took so long that night came on so dark that it was impossible for the pilots to take the Adelaide over the bar, thereby causing delay.

I may mention in this connection that the Adelaide, in carrying in the troops, at the moment that my terms of capitulation were under {p.584} consideration by the enemy, had grounded upon the bar, but by the active and judicious exertions of Commander Stellwagen, after some delay, was got off. At the same time the Harriet Lane, in attempting to enter over the bar, had grounded, and remained fast. Both were under the guns of the fort. This to me was a moment of the greatest anxiety. By these accidents a valuable ship of war and a transport steamer, with a large portion of my troops, were within the power of the enemy. I had demanded the strongest terms, which he was considering. He might refuse, and, seeing our disadvantage, renew the action. But I determined to abate not a tittle of what I believed to be due to the dignity of the Government, not even to give an official title to the officer in command of the rebels. Besides, my tug was in the inlet, and at least I could carry on the engagement with my two rifled 6-pounders, well supplied with Sawyer shells.

Upon taking possession of Fort Hatteras I found that it mounted ten guns, with four yet unmounted, and one large 10-inch columbiad all ready for mounting. I append the official muster roll of Colonel Martin, furnished by him, of the officers and men captured by us.*

The position of the fort is an exceedingly strong one, nearly surrounded on all sides by water, and only to be approached by a march of 500 yards circuitously over a long neck of sand, within half musket range, and over a causeway a few feet only in width, and which was commanded by two 32-pounder guns, loaded with grape and canister, which were expended in our salute. It had a well-protected magazine, and bomb-proof capable of sheltering some 300 or 400 men. The parapet was nearly of octagon form, inclosing about two-thirds of an acre of ground, well covered, with sufficient traverses and ramparts and parapets, upon which our shells had made but little impression.

The larger work nearer the inlet was known as Fort Hatteras. Fort Clark, which was about 700 yards northerly, is a square redoubt, mounting five guns and two 6-pounders. The enemy had spiked these guns, but in a very inefficient manner, upon abandoning the fort the day before. I had all the troops on shore at the time of the surrender of the forts, but re-embarked the regulars and the marines.

Finding it impossible without a delay of the fleet, which could not be justified under the state of facts at Fortress Monroe, and owing to the threatening appearance of the weather, I disembarked the provisions, making with the provisions captured about five days’ rations for the use of the troops. On consultation with Flag-Officer Stringham and Commander Stellwagen I determined to leave the troops and hold the fort, because of the strength of the fortifications, its importance, and because, if a gain in the possession of the enemy, with a sufficient armament, of the very great difficulty of its capture, until I could get some further instructions from the Government, Commodore Stringham directs the steamers Monticello and Pawnee to remain inside, and these, with the men in the forts, are sufficient to hold the position against any force which is likely or, indeed, possible to be sent against it.

The importance of the point cannot be overrated. When the channel is buoyed out any vessel may carry 15 feet of water over it with ease-. Once inside, there is a safe harbor and anchorage in all weathers. From there the whole coast of Virginia and North Carolina, from Norfolk to Cape Lookout, is within our reach by light-draught vessels, which cannot possibly live at sea during the winter months. From it offensive operations may be made upon the whole coast of North Carolina {p.585} to Bogue Inlet, extending many miles inland to Washington, New Be-rue, and Beaufort. In the language of the chief engineer of the rebels, Colonel Thompson, in an official report, “it is the key of the Albemarle.” In my judgment, it is a station second in importance only to Fortress Monroe on this coast. As a depot for coaling and supplies for the blockading squadron it is invaluable. As a harbor for our coasting trade, or inlet from the winter storms or from pirates, it is of the first importance. By holding it, Hatteras light may again send forth its cheering ray to the storm-beaten mariner, of which the worse than vandalism of the rebels deprives him. It has but one drawback, a want of water; but that a condenser, like the one now in operation at Fortress Monroe, at a cost of a few hundred dollars, will relieve.

I append to this report a tabular statement of the prizes which have been taken into that inlet within a few days, compiled from the official documents captured with the fort. [See Appendix C.]

I add hereto an official report of the chief engineer of the coast defenses of the rebels. [See Appendix B.]

Please find also appended a statement of the arms and munitions of war captured with the fort, as nearly as they can be ascertained.**

While all have done well, I desire to speak in terms of especial commendation, in addition to those before mentioned, of the steadiness and cool courage of Col. Max Weber, whom we were obliged to leave in command of a detachment of 300 men on a strange coast, without camp equipage or possibility of aid, in the face of an enemy 600 strong, on a dark and stormy night; of Lieutenant Colonel Weiss, who conducted a reconnaissance of 20 men; of the daring and prompt efficiency of Captain Nixon, of the Coast Guard, who with his men occupied Fort Clark during the first night, although dismantled, in the face of an enemy of unknown numbers.

I desire to commend to your attention Captain Jardine, of the New York Ninth, who was left in command of the detachment of his regiment when the unfortunate casualty to the Harriet Lane prevented Colonel Hawkins from landing.

Permit me to speak of the efficiency of the regulars, under Lieutenant Lamed, who worked zealously in aiding to land their comrades of the volunteers overwhelmed with the rolling surf.

I desire especially to make acknowledgments to Messrs. Wiegel and Durivage, volunteer aides, who planted the American flag upon Fort Clark on the second morning, to indicate to the fleet its surrender, and to prevent the further wasting of shells upon it; a service of great danger from the fire of their own friends.

I make honorable mention of young Fiske, who risked his life among the breakers, being thrown on shore, to convey my orders to the troops landed, and to apprise them of the movements and intentions of the fleet; also my thanks for the valuable aid of Captain Haggerty, who was employed in visiting the prizes in the harbor while we were agreeing upon the terms of capitulation.

Of the services to the country of the gentlemen of the Navy proper I may not speak, for one ought not to praise when he has no right to censure, and they will be appropriately mentioned, I doubt not, by the commander, who is capable to appreciate their good conduct. But I am emboldened to ask permission, if the Department shall determine to occupy the point as a permanent post, that its name may be changed by general order from “Fort Hatteras” to “Fort Stringham.”


But of those gentlemen who served under my immediate-command I may make honorable mention, as I have before done, of the zealous, intrepid, and untiring action of Lieutenant Crosby, who took an armed canal-boat, the steam-tug Fanny, from Fort Monroe to Hatteras Inlet, in order that the expedition might have-the aid of a steamer of the lightest draught.

Captain Shuttleworth, of the Marine Corps, deserves well for his loyalty and efficiency in his active detachment of marines.

Much of the success of the expedition is due-to the preparation of the transport service by Commander Stellwagen, and the prompt presence of mind with which he took the troops from their peril when the Adelaide touched on the bar is a rare quality in an officer in danger.

Although Captain Faunce, of the revenue service, now in command of the Harriet Lane, was unfortunate enough to get his vessel on one of the numerous sand bars about the inlet, it happened, I believe, in consequence of a determination, creditable in him, to aid me by being near to cover the troops in landing.

Captain Lowry, who had the George Peabody in charge, brought in his vessel with safety, with the troops, who were pleased with his care and conduct. He still remains at the inlet.

In fine, general, I may congratulate you and the country upon a glorious victory in your department, in which we captured more than 700 men, 25 pieces of artillery, 1,000 stand of arms, a large quantity of ordnance stores, provisions, 3 valuable prizes, 2 light-boats, and 4 stand of colors, 1 of which had been presented within a week by the ladies of New Berne, N. C., to the “North Carolina Defenders.”

By the goodness of that Providence which watches over our nation, no one, either of the fleet or army, was in the least degree injured. The enemy’s loss was not officially reported to us, but was ascertained to be 12 or 15 killed and died of wounds, and 35 wounded.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major-General, U. S. Army, Commanding Volunteers.

Maj. Gen. JOHN E. WOOL, Commanding Department of Virginia.

* Roll omitted. It gives a total of 691 prisoners.

** Omitted, but see p. 592.

[Appendix A.]

Articles of capitulation between commanding officers of the Federal and Confederate forces at Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina.

OFF HATTERAS INLET, U. S. Flag-Ship Minnesota, August 29, A. D. 1861.

Articles of capitulation between Flag-Officer Stringham, commanding the Atlantic Blockading Squadron, and Benjamin F. Butler, major-general, U. S. Army, commanding, on behalf of the United States Government, and Samuel Barron, commanding the naval forces of the defense of North Carolina and Virginia, and Colonel Martin, commanding the forces, and Major Andrews, commanding the same forces, at Fort Hatteras:

It is stipulated and agreed between the contracting parties that the forces under the command of the said Barron, Martin, and Andrews, and all munitions of war, arms, men, and property under the command of said Barron, Martin, and Andrews, be unconditionally surrendered to the Government of the United States in terms of full capitulation.

And it is stipulated and agreed by the contracting parties on the part {p.587} of the United States Government that the officers and men shall receive the treatment due to prisoners of war.

In witness whereof we, the said Stringham and Butler, on behalf of the United States, and the said Barron, Martin, and Andrews, representing the forces at Hatteras Inlet, hereunto interchangeably set our hands this 29th day of August, 1861, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-fifth year.

S. H. STRINGHAM, Flag-Officer Atlantic Blockading Squadron. BENJ. F. BUTLER, Major-General, U. S. Army, Commanding. S. BARRON, Flag-Officer, C. S. Navy, Comdg. Naval Defenses Va. and N. C. WM. F. MARTIN, Colonel Seventh Regiment Infantry, N. C. Vols. W. S. G. ANDREWS, Major, Commanding Forts Hatteras and Clark.

[Appendix B.]

FORT HATTERAS, July 25, 1861.

COLONEL: The day before yesterday we hoisted our glorious flag over Fort Clark, a strong battery I have nearly finished, of five heavy 32-pounders, about half a mile from Fort Hatteras, which secures to us a cross-fire upon the bar and the entrance to this inlet. I now consider this inlet secure against any attempt of the enemy to enter it. Our force of men I think rather weak to resist a land attack, in case the enemy should effect a landing in the bight of Hatteras. If we had three or four additional companies here I should feel quite safe even in that event.

As I have before remarked this inlet is the-key to Albemarle Sound, and it cannot be too strictly guarded. We certainly are under the espionage of the United States steamers, as they are seen every day or two in the offing, although they keep without the range of our guns. If I had received the 10-inch columbiad, we could have damaged them some on their last visit, three days since.

We now have two privateers in this harbor, besides the war-steamer Winslow, the Gordon, of Charleston, Captain Lockwood, armed with three guns-a fine large steamer. She returned this morning with a prize brig laden with three hundred and sixty hogshead of molasses. We have also a saucy-looking little pilot schooner, the Florida, mounting one 6-pounder rifled cannon. She captured a prize two days since, took her crew out, and sent her in with her own men. A United States steamer gave chase to the prize, and they were obliged to beach her on Nagg’s Head. She, of course, is a total loss.

Yours, respectfully,

W. BEVERSHAW THOMPSON, Major, Chief Engineer Department Coast Defense.

Col. WARREN WINSLOW, Military Secretary.


[Appendix C.]

Vessel.Name.Master.Where from.Where bound.Captured by-Cargo.Date.Remarks.
BrigHannah Butty.UnknownSavannaha Northern portSteamer CoffeeMolassesJune 25This brig was in charge of a Federal sailing master.
BarkLenwooddoRioBaltimoreWrecked6,000 bags coffeeNot knownThe prisoners of these two vessels were sent to New Berne.
Schooner.Lydia French.CampbellNew Orleans.UnknowndoUnknowndo
BrigGilveryUnknownUnknowndoGordon315 tierces molasses.July 26
BrigUnknownCh. A. FrenchdodoYorkNot known.July 25
BrigdoUnknowndodoFloridaMachineryJuly 26was run ashore to prevent recapture.
BrigdodododoGordonNot knownJuly 26
SchoonerGordondoMatamorasPhiladelphiaCapt. LockwoodFruitJuly 29was sent to Wilmington or New Berne.
SchoonerPriscilladoCuracoaBaltimoreSt’r Mariner600 bu. saltAugust 2Was sent to New Berne.
BrigUnknowndoUnknownUnknownUnknownSugar and molasses.August 2
SchoonerdodododoGordonNot knownAugust 2
SchoonerdodododododoAugust 2These two schooners were on the bar and were taken into Ocracoke.
SchoonerdodododoMarinerdoAugust 2
BrigItascadododoSt’r Winslow500 b’h’ds molasses and sugar.August 4
SchoonerHenry NuttdodoPhiladelphiaGordonMahogany & logwood.August 4
SchoonerSea WitchdodoNew YorkdoFruitAugust 4The crew were sent to mayor of New Berne.


No. 4.

Report of Col. Max Weber, Twentieth New York Infantry.

FORT HATTERAS, N. C., September 5, 1861.

SIR: I take the first opportunity which is offered to me by the arrival of a steamer from Fortress Monroe to report to you the action of the troops who were landed and acted under my command in the capture of Fort Hatteras.

On Wednesday morning, the 28th ultimo, at 10 o’clock, the landing of the troops commenced. The surf was running very high, and continued to run higher and higher, so that but 318 men could be landed. The condition of these troops was of course a very bad one. All of us were wet up to the shoulders, cut off entirely from the fleet, with wet ammunition, and without any provisions; but still all had but one thought-to advance.

I appointed Captain Von Doehn, of the Twentieth Regiment, who has been acting adjutant of Camp Hamilton for the last three months, to act also here in that capacity, had the troops formed in line counted, and reported to me as follows: 45 men of the regular artillery regiment stationed at Fort Monroe, Captain Larned and Lieutenant Lodor; 45 men of marine soldiers of the Minnesota; 68 men Ninth Regiment New York Volunteers, Captain Jardine; 102 men Twentieth Regiment New York Volunteers; 28 men Union Coast Guard, Captain Nixon; 28 men, sailors (artillery), making a total of 318 men.

I had all reasons to be very cautious, having but a small force, and the more, as we saw the enemy re-enforce the fort all the time.

Our distance from the first fort (Clark) was about 3 miles. I sent Lieutenant-Colonel Weiss, with 20 men of the Twentieth Regiment, to make a reconnaissance, and ordered Lieutenant Wiegel (ordnance officer of General Butler’s staff) to accompany him. The latter soon returned, with the report that Lieutenant-Colonel Weiss took one cannon (dismounted), and that the troops commenced to evacuate the first fort. I then ordered Captain Von Doehn and Captain Hoeffling’s company of the Twentieth Regiment to re-enforce Lieutenant-Colonel Weiss, and to take possession of the fort (Clark). This order was carried out immediately. Lieutenant-Colonel Weiss occupied the fort, himself took the first secession flag, and hoisted the American. Myself followed with the lest of the troops, when the Navy commenced firing upon us, shells bursting right over us and in our midst, so that a further advance was impossible. Two shells burst in the fort, wounding one of my men slightly in the hand.

I still held the fort occupied, sent an American flag along the beach, and the firing ceased.

I then ordered Captain Nixon, with his 28 men, to take possession of the fort during the night, put out pickets towards the second fort, and to watch the enemy very carefully. Captain Jardine with his company occupied the beach near the second fort, in order to prevent the enemy from cutting off our troops in the first fort, and myself with the rest of the troops retreated to the landing place, where we bivouacked.

During the night nothing of importance occurred. The next morning, as soon as the firing of the fleet commenced, I advanced with all my forces, ready to take the second fort as soon as the firing would cease. I ordered Captain Meyer’s company and Adjutant Kluckhuhn, of the Twentieth Regiment, to cross the beach where the camp of the enemy was evacuated. A color and quartermaster’s stove were found {p.590} there. (The color was afterwards delivered to Commodore Stringham, who claimed the same.) A rifle 6-pounder was also landed, and I ordered Lieutenant Johnson, of the Union Coast Guard, to advance with it as far as possible and to fire upon the secession steamers, which was done with great success; they soon left entirely. We remained thus four hours in this position, the shells bursting over us, when at last the white flag was hoisted on the second fort.

Captain Nixon, the nearest to the fort, prepared immediately to meet the enemy, and was the first who entered the fort. Lieutenant-Colonel Weiss, Captain Von Doehn, and myself followed; the troops remained 50 yards distant from the fort. I ordered also the surgeons-Dr. Fritz, of the Twentieth Regiment; Dr. Humphreys, of the Ninth Regiment; and Dr. King, of the Navy-to assist dressing the wounded.

I take also the opportunity of mentioning Captain Larned and Lieutenant-Lodor and the marine officers, who have rendered me great assistance, and I am greatly obliged to them for their support during the whole expedition.

Though the troops of my regiment had but little occasion to distinguish themselves, I think it still my duty to say that all of them did their duty in every respect.

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

MAX WEBER, Colonel, Commanding Fort Hatteras.

Major-General BUTLER.


No. 5.

Report of Commander John P. Gillis, U. S. Navy.

U. S. STEAMER MONTICELLO, Hampton Roads, Va., September 5, 1861.

SIR: Previous to our leaving Hatteras Inlet with the Harriet Lane in convoy we had cruised along and off the coast to the southward; ran close in to Ocracoke Inlet several times. The fort near the beacon-house had apparently no guns mounted, and there was no evidence of its being occupied. In Portsmouth, a small town near by to the southward, a white flag was hoisted on one of the houses, and a number of negroes came down to the beach waving another. Some two or three small schooners were seen in the sound. They left for the interior.

This fort and inlet could readily be taken possession of and held by a small force.

The steamer Peabody, with supplies, arrived at Fort Hatteras on the 4th instant.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNO. P. GILLIS, Commander.

Major-General WOOL, U. S. A., Comdg. Fortress Monroe, &c.


No. 6.

Report of Lieut. P. U. Farquhar, U. S. Engineer Corps.

FORTRESS MONROE, VA., September 7, 1861.

GENERAL: In obedience to your orders of the 3d instant, I left this post at 4 p.m. on the same day for Hatteras Inlet. On my arrival there {p.591} on the following morning, at about 10 o’clock, I first visited Captain Rowan, of the U. S. steamer Pawnee, in order to report my arrival and the object of my coming, and to solicit such aid as he might be able to render me in the way of boats, &c. He very kindly put a boat at my disposal whenever I might want it.

The two forts or batteries lately captured by our troops are situated on a long sandy island known as Hatteras Island. They are on the southwest end of the island; the larger one, Fort Hatteras, being about one-eighth, and the smaller, Fort Clark, about one mile from the inlet. The sketches accompanying this report will better show the relative positions of the forts and inlet. Fort Hatteras is situated S. 50˚ W. from the inlet, and at a distance of about one-eighth of a mile. It is a square redoubt, with pan coupes at all the salients. It is constructed of sand, well revetted with sods from the neighboring salt marshes. Its command is about 10 feet above the level of the ocean at high water. It completely commands all the approaches by land and sea. With guns of long range it can successfully defend itself from any fleet, and is so placed with reference to the land approaches that any assaulting column must experience a heavy fire during a long time before reaching it. There is room in the fort for twenty large guns-four on each face and one in each salient. At present there are twelve guns mounted, their positions and caliber being indicated in the accompanying plan.* As most of the guns are on the land and sea fronts, I suggested to the commanding officer the propriety of placing some guns on the front looking toward the approaches by Pamlico Sound.

A causeway leads from the fort to the landing. It is made of sand, filled in between two parallel rows of plank, driven in the sand and covered with sod, thus raising the road about 2 feet above the sand. This causeway is of importance, as with a high tide and easterly wind the whole of the beach up to the foot of the exterior slope is covered with water. On the causeway, near the beach, I found a 10-inch columbiad, together with its carriage and platform. This gun is, at the suggestion of Captain Rowan, being mounted on the causeway near the water. In this position it has a great horizontal range of fire, and will effectually prevent our shipping from being annoyed by the enemy’s light-draught gunboats. A wharf and storehouse for provisions are absolutely needed if the position is to be held during the war, for the fort has just room enough for its own garrison, and the beach, for before mentioned reasons, is not a secure place to place provisions. The magazine and bomb-proof shelter is large, but its top being about 5 feet above the interior crest, renders it a conspicuous mark for the enemy’s artillery. It is as well constructed as possible, having at least 6 feet of sand on top of the wooden casing. The floor of the magazine is on a level with the site, below which it could not be sunk on account of the water.

Fort Clark, a redoubt of irregular figure, is situated about three-fourths of a mile from Fort Hatteras, and bearing from it S. 49˚ E. It is midway between the sound and the ocean-the crest of the exterior slope on the ocean fronts nearly coinciding with the ridge of sand. It has about the same command as Fort Hatteras. On the sea fronts and the front farthest from the inlet the parapet is eighteen feet thick, and armed with 8-inch navy guns. The tenailled front looking towards Pamlico Sound, has its parapet but 5 feet thick, and was arranged for a musketry defense. Since the capture of the fort three rifled and one old 6-pounder have been mounted on the latter front, small merlons {p.592} having been erected to cover the cannoneers. The gorge of the work looks towards Fort Hatteras. The fort is of but little importance, as the enemy cannot approach it from the sound. No danger is apprehended from the ocean, and if the enemy approach by land, a battery of field pieces would offer more resistance. The magazine and bombproof shelter, though not as large, is constructed similarly to the one in Fort Hatteras.

On the morning of the 5th instant I made a reconnaissance for about 3 1/2 miles from Fort Clark of the island. The narrowest part of the island is between the two forts. It continues to widen for some 3 miles. At about half a mile from Fort Clark a growth of small live-oak commences, accompanied by marshes and a rank undergrowth. On questioning the inhabitants, I was informed that water might be found almost anywhere by digging wells between high and low water marks. I visited several of the wells, some dug by the enemy, and all were filled with water, and from those that are in use I tasted quite good water. There is no doubt but that there is an abundance of water. At present Fort Hatteras is supplied by water from wells about 3 miles from it; but were wells properly dug in the fort, I have no doubt that plenty of water will be found.

With reference to the subsistence the country affords, I would report that there are many beeves, hogs, and sheep on the island. All the inhabitants that I conversed with unite in complaining of the vandalism of our troops, some houses being completely rifled. Such conduct on the part of our soldiers is but little calculated to conciliate those who may be most useful to us.

In conclusion, I would suggest that some guns of heavy caliber and long range be placed on the fronts of Fort Hatteras, looking towards the inlet and sound. The fort is well situated, and I am not able to suggest any improvements in its construction. All the damages occasioned by the late bombardment are fast being repaired by our troops. The following is the list of the ordnance stores and their condition:

159 32-pounder cartridges, charge eight pounds powder; 75 8-inch navy-gun cartridges, eight pounds powder; 15 32-pounder loaded shells; 29 32-pounder cartridge bags; 40 kegs F powder; 400 pounds cannon powder; 801 32-pounder balls; 148 8-inch navy shells, not loaded and without fuses; 10 32-pounder canister; 8 32-pounder grape.

Believing that I have now reported on every point desired by you in your instructions, I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,

FRANCIS U. FARQUHAR, Second Lieutenant, U. S. Corps Engineers.

Maj. Gen. J. E. WOOL, Comdg. Dep’t S. B. Virginia.

* Not found.


No. 7.

Report of Flag-Officer S. Barron, C. S. Navy.

U. S. FLAG-SHIP MINNESOTA, At Sea, August 31, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to report the surrender of Fort Hatteras, with its garrison, on the 29th instant, to the combined naval and military forces under the command of Flag-Officer Stringham and Major-General Butler, of the United States service.


On the 28th instant, having arrived at Hatteras Inlet in the steamer Winslow, I received a message from Colonel Martin, commanding the Seventh Regiment North Carolina Volunteers, on shore, that he wished to hold a conference with me. I immediately went to Fort Hatteras, accompanied by Colonel Bradford, colonel of artillery and engineers and chief of ordnance of North Carolina, and Lieutenants Murdaugh and Sharp, C. S. Navy. I found the colonel very much exhausted from exposure and hard fighting, which had lasted from 8 a.m. until after dark, during which period of time he had been driven from Fort Clark (after spiking the guns) to Fort Hatteras, the ammunition in the former magazine having been expended. I was exhorted by him and Major Andrews, commanding the post, to assume command of the fort, to which I assented, Colonel Bradford volunteering to assist me in the duties of defense.

In assuming this grave responsibility I was not unaware that we could be shelled out of the fort, but expecting from New Berne the arrival of a regiment of North Carolina volunteers at or before midnight (the fleet having put to sea and appearances indicating bad weather), we designed an assault on Fort Clark, three-quarters of a mile distant from Fort Hatteras, which had been taken possession of by a party landed from the shipping, but unfortunately the regiment did not arrive until the following day, after the bombardment had commenced; and when the time came that I deemed evacuation or surrender unavoidable the means of escape were not at my command.

On the next morning, at 7.40 o’clock, the fleet-consisting of the Minnesota, Wabash, Susquehanna, Cumberland, Pawnee, and Harriet Lane, other steamers being in company-took their positions and opened fire. In addition to the batteries of the ships, the enemy had during the night erected a battery of rifled field guns near to Fort Clark, which also opened on us.

During the first hour the shells of the ships fell short, we only firing occasionally to ascertain whether our shots would reach them, and wishing to reserve our very limited supply of ammunition until the vessels might find it necessary to come nearer in; but they, after some practice, got the exact range of the 9, 10, and 11 inch guns, and did not find it necessary to alter their positions, while not a shot from our battery reached them with the greatest elevation we could get. This state of things-shells bursting over and in the fort every few seconds-having continued for about three hours, the men were directed to take shelter under the parapet and traverses, and I called a council of officers, at which it was unanimously agreed that holding out longer could only result in a greater loss of life, without the ability to damage our adversaries, and just at this time the magazine being reported on fire, a shell having fallen through the ventilator of the bomb-proof into the room adjoining the principal magazine, I ordered a white flag to be shown, when the firing ceased, and the surrender was made upon the conditions of the accompanying articles of capitulation.*

The personnel of the command are now prisoners of war on board this ship, where everything is done to make them as comfortable as possible under the circumstances, Flag Officer Stringham, Captain Van Brunt, and Commander Case extending to us characteristic courtesy and kindness. We are to be landed at Fort Hamilton, New York Harbor. {p.594}

The gun on a navy carriage was manned by eight men from the Winslow and a few volunteer soldiers, and commanded by Lieutenant Murdaugh, assisted by Midshipman Stafford, of the Ellis. I regret to state that Lieutenant Murdaugh had his arm severely shattered. Lieutenant Sharp, my flag lieutenant, was knocked down by a shot and hurt in the head, but not severely, I trust, although suffering to-day from its effects.

One man was killed at the navy gun and the carriage disabled.

Lieutenant Murdaugh was taken by direction to the Winslow, and has escaped being made prisoner.

So far as can be ascertained there were on this day 2 killed, 25 or 30 wounded, and many others slightly touched.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. BARRON, Flag-Officer, Commanding Naval Defenses Afloat of Virginia and North Carolina.

Hon. S. R. MALLORY, Secretary C. S. Navy, Richmond, Va.

* See Butler’s report (No. 3), p. 586.


No. 8.

Congratulatory orders.


HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA, Fort Monroe, Va., August 31, 1861.

The commanding general has great satisfaction in announcing a glorious victory achieved by the combined operations of the Army and Navy at Cape Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina, under the command of Commodore Stringham and Major-General Butler.

The result of this gallant enterprise is the capture of 715 men including the commander, Barron, and one of the North Carolina cabinet; 1,000 stand of arms, and 75 kegs of powder; 5 stand of colors; 31 pieces of cannon, including a 10-inch columbiad; a brig loaded with cotton; a sloop loaded with provisions and stores; 2 light-boats, and 150 bags of coffee, &c.; all which was achieved by the Navy, 800 volunteers, and 60 regular artillery of the Army.

This gallant affair will not fail to stimulate the regulars and volunteers to greater exertions to prepare themselves for future and greater achievements.

Obedience, order, discipline, and instruction are indispensable to maintain the interest, honor, and humane institutions of the Union.

By command of Major-General Wool:

C. C. CHURCHILL, Captain, Third Artillery, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.


OCTOBER 1, 1861.– Capture of the U. S. transport Fanny near Chicamacomico, or Loggerhead Inlet, North Carolina.


No. 1.–Brig. Gen. Joseph K. F. Mansfield, U. S. Army.
No. 2.–Brig. Gen. Benjamin Huger, C. S. Army.
No. 3.–Col. A. R. Wright, Third Georgia Infantry.

* See also in “Correspondence, etc.,” Wool to Scott, October 6, p. 620; and Hawkins to Wool, inclosed in Wool to Scott, October 11, p. 623.

No. 1.

Report of Brig. Gen. Joseph K. F. Mansfield, U. S. Army.


SIR: I have the honor to report to the Lieutenant-General commanding that yesterday afternoon the steamer Pawnee arrived from Hatteras Inlet, and brought the captain and crew of the steamer Fanny, a steamer that had been chartered as a tender and defense at the inlet. (I should have made this report by yesterday’s mail if I had not been at the time of the above arrival at Newport News and did not return till after dark.) It appears that the steamer Fanny left Fort Hatteras about 6 a.m. on the 1st instant, with ammunition and supplies for the Twentieth Indiana Regiment, stationed some 40 miles on the beach northward, at a locality called Chicamacomico, or Loggerhead Inlet. She had on board Capt. I. W. Hart, Sergeant-Major Peacock, and about 23 men of the Twentieth Indiana and Ninth New York Regiments, with a Sawyer gun and a large supply of ammunition and stores for the troops. When within 5 miles of her destination she met the U. S. naval steamer Putnam, which turned round and convoyed her to anchorage in 6 feet of water off the landing some-3 miles. The Putnam put on board the Fanny a rifled cannon and ammunition therefor, and then started for Fort Hatteras. At the same time stated she had seen a rebel steamer westward, and gave as reason for returning that she was short of coal. In about an hour and a half after, say at 2.30, a large flat from the shore came alongside the Fanny and received a load of supplies, such as tents, bread, &c. In about two hours after, three steamers approached from the westward, and at a long range commenced an attack. Not a shot struck the Fanny, and some eight or nine shots were fired at the enemy, one of which took effect. Then the cable was slipped and the Fanny was run ashore some 2 3/4 miles still from the beach, and the crew abandoned her in a boat, and the officer in charge, Captain Hart, hoisted a white flag, and surrendered before a gun was fired on either side. The captain of the Fanny, John M. Morrison, left in a small boat with his sick son. The mate, George K. Ridgely, and engineer and others of the crew remained until the white flag was hoisted. Some ammunition was thrown overboard, but the guns were not thrown overboard nor the boat sunk, as was recommended by the mate and engineer. The steamer Fanny was an excellent boat for the station, and her boiler and engine in excellent order. The above facts I obtained from a personal examination of the captain, mate, engineer, and a deck hand separately.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOS. K. F. MANSFIELD, Brigadier-General, Con an ding.

Col. E. D. TOWNSEND, A. A. G., Hdqrs. of the Army.



No. 2.

Report of Big. Gen. Benjamin Huger, C. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS OF THE FORCES, Norfolk, October 5, 1861.

SIR: As I informed you by telegraph, Col. A. R. Wright, commanding Third Georgia Regiment, writes from Roanoke Island, dated 2d instant, stating “We received information yesterday morning that the Yankees were about landing men near Chicamacomico, and immediately left this post, taking 150 men on board the steamers Curlew, Raleigh, and Junaluski, Commodore Lynch being in command of these vessels. At 5 p.m. we came in sight of a steamer (Federal), which proved to be the Fanny, having on board a quantity of quartermaster’s and commissary stores for the Twentieth Indiana Regiment, in command of Captain Hart. After an engagement of thirty-five minutes the Fanny surrendered, a we made prisoners of the entire force-47 men, 2 officers, and 1 negro. The Fanny mounted two rifled cannon, and made a gallant resistance, but the superior weight of our guns gave us the advantage. The gun of the Curlew was manned by a crew from Captain McWhorter’s company of this regiment, and worked their gun beautifully. All behaved well. We had to return for want of fuel, and I am now engaged with all my men cutting wood, and as soon as I can get a supply we will return and endeavor to capture the Federals who are encamped at Chicamacomico. We cannot send the prisoners up to-day for want of fuel. Indeed, we are almost helpless here on this account.” Nobody hurt. I will do all in my power to assist the forces at Roanoke to push on.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

BENJ HUGER, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

I beg instructions concerning the prisoners, who will soon reach here.


No. 3.

Report of Col. A. R. Wright, Third Georgia Infantry.

HEADQUARTERS FORCES, Roanoke Island, October 2, 1861.

GENERAL: I have just returned from an expedition against the Yankees. We received information yesterday morning that the Yankees were about landing men near Chicamacomico, and immediately left this post, taking 150 men on board the steamers Curlew, Raleigh, and Junaluski, Commodore Lynch being in command of these vessels. At 5 o’clock p.m. we came in sight of a steamer (Federal), which proved to be the Fanny, having on board a quantity of quartermaster and commissary stores for the Twentieth Indiana Regiment, in command of Captain Hart. After an engagement of thirty-five minutes the Fanny surrendered, and we made prisoners of the entire force-47 men 2 officers, and 1 negro. The Fanny mounted two rifled cannon and made a gallant resistance, but the superior weight of our guns gave us the advantage. {p.597} The gun of the Curlew was manned by a crew from Captain McWhorter’s company of this regiment, and worked their gun beautifully. All behaved well. We had to return for want of fuel, and I am now engaged with all my men cutting wood, and as soon as I can get a supply we will return and endeavor to capture the Federals who are encamped at Chicamacomico. We cannot send the prisoners up to-day for want of fuel. Indeed, we are almost helpless here on this account. We will demolish the light at Hatteras if we do no more. The captured Federals report a large force at Hatteras, but I think we can manage them.

Among the captured stores are a number of coats (over), which my men need very much. May I not distribute them among my men? I am taking an inventory of the stores, and will send it on to you when completed.

Look out for something stirring in a few days. Commodore Lynch and myself get along finely, each cheerfully co-operating with the other.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brig. Gen. BEN. HUGER.

No one injured on either side. We captured a large quantity of fixed ammunition, powder, shells, &c. Colonel Butler, who will hand you this, can give you some particulars.


OCTOBER 4, 1861.– Affair at Chicamacomico, N. C.


No. 1.–Maj. Gen. John E. Wool, U. S. Army.
No. 2.–Brig. Gen. Benjamin Huger, C. S. Army.

No. 1.

Report of Maj. Gen. John E. Wool, U. S. Army.


GENERAL: I have the honor to inform you that in an attempt on the part of the rebels at Hatteras Inlet to cut off and capture the Indiana regiment, out of place, the enemy were completely defeated, and many killed and wounded. The enemy have, it is said, five or six armed steamers on the sound.* To meet these, which I have heretofore urged, a number of light-armed steamers, with rifled guns, should be immediately sent to Hatteras Inlet. I implore you to return to us the artillery companies recently sent to Washington.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN E. WOOL, Major-General.

Lieut. Gen. W. SCOTT, General-in-Chief.

* See also in “Correspondence., etc.,” Wool to Scott, October 11, and its inclosure Mansfield to Wool, October 8, pp. 622, 624; and Mansfield to Scott, October 14, p. 026.


No. 2.

Report of Brig. Gen. Benjamin Huger, C. S. Army.

NORFOLK, October 8, 1861.

I hear that Colonel Wright, with his command, attacked and drove the Lincolnites on the 4th. They ran. He captured some 40 prisoners and a large amount of provisions, &c. Colonel Wright has returned to Roanoke Island, and one of the men has come up. No official report yet.

BENJ. HUGER, Brigadier-General.

Adjt. Gen. S. COOPER.


OCTOBER 21, 1861.– Skirmish at Young’s Mill, near Newport News, Va.

Report of Maj. Gen. John B. Magruder, C. S. Army.

YORKTOWN, VA., October 21, 1861.

General COOPER, Adjutant-General:

SIR: A part of General McLaws’ force is now engaged with the enemy in front of his command, at Young’s Mill.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER, Major-General, Commanding.


NOVEMBER 11, 1861.– Skirmish near New Market Bridge (near Fort Monroe), Va.

Report of Brig. Gen. John B. Magruder, C. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE PENINSULA, Bethel, Va., November 18, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to report that, on the 11th instant, a scouting party, sent below by me, was fired on by the enemy, and one of our men, a private of Captain Adams’ company, Third Regiment Virginia Cavalry, was wounded slightly in three places. The fire was returned, and after the third discharge from our artillery, the enemy, whose force proved to be a regiment, fled. I have reliable information that several of them were killed or wounded.

On the night of the 12th an ambuscading force was sent forward by me. While the troops were moving into position on the morning of November 13 two of my vedettes approached the infantry position of the Georgia Legion, at the time commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Garnett. From some cause, after a short parley, they turned and rode off at full speed. At this a fire was opened upon them without-orders from the commander. I regret to report that in the effort to cause the fire to cease (many of the officers being in front at its commencement), Major Bagley was killed, Captain Morris and one private wounded, and Colonel Garnett’s horse shot under him. A detailed report, with the {p.599} written orders given Colonel Levy, the officer in charge of the expedition, will be furnished.*

I have the honor, sir, to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

* Not found.


JANUARY 3, 1862.– Reconnaissance from Camp Hamilton to Big Bethel, Va.

Report of Col. Max Weber, Twentieth New York infantry.

HEADQUARTERS, Camp Hamilton, Va:, January 5, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report:

According to your order I undertook a reconnaissance towards Big Bethel Friday, January 3, to ascertain whether the enemy still occupied or had evacuated said position. I started from Camp Hamilton at 9 a.m. with the Union Coast Guard, under command of Col. D. W. Wardrop; six companies of the Twentieth Regiment New York Volunteers, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Weiss, and three companies of the Eleventh Regiment Pennsylvania Cavalry, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Spear, and reached Little Bethel at 10 p.m. Leaving four companies at the most important positions to cover our retreat, I assigned the principal task to the cavalry, for the purpose of attaining my object by surprising the enemy, who had thus far never seen any cavalry on our side. I therefore marched within 2 miles of Big Bethel and took position with the infantry to cover the retreat of the cavalry. I ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Spear to advance cautiously; to charge and secure the pickets which he might fall in with; to proceed as near as possible to the intrenchments until he should meet a superior force or receive a round of artillery. Lieutenant-Colonel Spear executed this order most satisfactorily. Within a short mile of Big Bethel he met the first mounted picket and attacked it forthwith. Upon discharging their pieces they took to flight, likewise the second picket. Lieutenant-Colonel Spear pursued them within the intrenchments, and from there observed the enemy in full run on the road to Yorktown. The enemy being in advantage with their fresh horses, Lieutenant-Colonel Spear discontinued the pursuit.

The intrenchments, which are of inferior strength, comprise the surface of half a mile. They are qualified to quarter 2,000 or 3,000 men, and can mount about eight or ten cannon. Preparations for winter quarters half finished and timber block-houses and a quantity of boards were found within the intrenchments.

After a short stay I ordered the cavalry to return, and marched back to Camp Hamilton, where we arrived at 6 p.m., all well.

The object of the reconnaissance met with perfect success. It is ascertained that the enemy has evacuated Big Bethel and is most likely concentrated in full force at Yorktown.

All the farm-houses and barns on the road to Big Bethel were found burned down and destroyed. The whole country presents a sad picture of desolation.

I am, sir, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

MAX WEBER, Colonel, Commanding Camp Hamilton, Va.

Major-General WOOL, Commanding Department of Virginia.



Main TitleThe War of the Rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies.
Corporate NameUnited States. War Department.
Published/Created[S.l.], L.McKee and C.G. Robertson, 1859.
ContentsSer. I. v. 1-53 [serial no. 1-111] Formal reports, both Union and Confederate, of the first seizures of United States property in the southern states, and of all military operations in the field, with the correspondence, order and returns relating specially thereto. 1880-1898. 111 v.--ser. II. v. 1-8 [serial no. 114-121] Correspondence, orders, reports and returns, Union and Confederate, relating to prisoners of war and to state or political prisoners. 1894 [i.e. 1898]-1899. 8 v.--ser. III. v. 1-5 [serial no. 122-126] Correspondence, orders, reports and returns of the Union authorities (embracing their correspondence with the Confederate officials) note relating specially to the subjects of the first and second series. It embraces the reports of the Secretary of War, of the general-in-chief and of the chiefs of the several staff corps and departments ... 1899-1900. 5 v.--ser. IV. v. 1-3 [serial no. 127-129] Correspondence, orders, reports and returns of the Confederate authorities, similar to that indicated for the Union officials, as of the third series, but including the correspondence between the Union and Confederate authorities given in that series. 1900. 3 v.--[serial no. 130] General index and additions and corrections. Mr. John S. Moodey, indexer. Preface [by Elihu Root, Secretary of War]. Explanations. Synopsis of the contents of volumes. Special index for the principal armies, army corps, military divisions and departments. General index. Additions and corrections [arranged consecutively by volumes]. 1901.