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Suffolk Christian Sun

Suffolk Christian Sun

February 14, 1862

Page 2


We have given in another column all the news we could gather from the Norfolk Day Book and other sources, concerning the capture of Roanoke Island, up to Tuesday night.

On Tuesday night about 50 persons arrived here from Edenton and Elizabeth City. They came across the country in carriages, wagons and in any way they could.  Among them was Capt. Parker connected with Com. Lynch’s fleet and many of the men of the fleet who had escaped.

Early on Wednesday morning Com. Lynch arrived.  We had an interview with him, and learned the following concerning the part which he took in the affair.

The attack on the batteries commenced on Friday last about 11 o’clock.

On Friday night, the commodore, finding his ammunition nearly exhausted, sent Capt. Parker with a note informing him that he was going to Elizabeth City.  Capt. Parker learned from Capt. Taylor at the Pork Point Battery, that up to that time only one of our men had been killed and three wounded, and Capt. Taylor thought they could hold out unless they were turned in the rear.  Com. Lynch on his arrival at Elizabeth City dispatched an officer and obtained ammunition enough for two vessels, and on Sunday went down to Roanoke Island, supposing that they were still fighting.  When near the mouth of the Pasquotank river he learned that the Island had fallen.  Roanoke Island is distant to Elizabeth City about 37 miles.

After speaking [to men in] the boats, he kept on in hope of saving the men at the floating battery on the Croatan side.  A detachment of the Federal fleet chased them back.  He distributed his ammunition between his 4 vessels.  At daylight Monday morning finding that he had only 7 men on which he could rely to man the batteries, he took the officer and crew of the Beaufort on shore and manned two of the guns at Cobb’s Point.

The orders of the Commodore were pre-emptory to the commandants of the vessels when the means of resistance failed to run each one into shoal water, set her on fire and save the crew.  From some unexplained cause this was only obeyed by the commandant of the Fanny.  The fight continued at Cobb’s Point one hour and fifteen minutes when the Gun boats succeeded in passing the battery and closed upon and captured the Seabird and the Ellis.  The Fanny was set on fire and burned and the crew escaped, and joined the men at the battery.  The enemy in overwhelming force rushed upon the Seabird and Ellis and captured both.  The Appomattox escaped up toward the mouth of the canal, where the Raleigh had been previously sent to get ammunition. 

The Forest was on the way for repairs, and if not burned, fell into the hands of the enemy.

The Appomattox, Beaufort and Raleigh had the best machinery, and are probably saved.  The others were of little value.

Com. Lynch left Cobb’s Point with 52 officers and men who have escaped.  But six of his men were killed and three wounded.

Gen. Henningson left Elizabeth City and is said to have arrived late at Edenton, with his command.

The enemy entered Elizabeth city and took possession of the town, making purchases of the merchants and paying them in gold.  Pickets now extend six miles in this direction.

The town was fired by the citizens, but it was soon extinguished by the Federals, only a small portion being burned.

Edenton had not been attacked at the latest accounts, but the inhabitants had nearly all left in anticipation of an attack.

B. Hain and J. W. Hain, privates in Capt. Jones’s Company from Warren county N. C. and connected with Col. Shaw’s 8th N. C. Regiment, arrived here on Wednesday night, having escaped from the enemy at Roanoke Island.  They represent the fighting as desperation on both sides.

Col. Shaw, they say acted with great coolness and bravery throughout, and when forced to surrender was engaged up to the last moment in spiking the Guns.

Col. Jno. V. Jordan, who was in command on the Island, it is said displayed great bravery.  When the retreat was ordered, he was last seen galloping from the field, and attempting an escape in which it is supposed he failed.

Gen. Wharton Green’s Battalion was captured soon after arriving on the Island.

Much is said in praise of the Richmond Blues and McCulloch Rangers.  Capt. O. J. Wise was shot in the hip and was being borne from the field in a blanket when a ball pierced his body and he died instantly.  [Missing phrase] of Col. Wise, was shot through the body and killed.  The loss of the enemy all concur in setting down at 1000 while our loss did not exceed 150 according to last accounts.


[Transcribed by Sharon Strout]


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