Suffolk Christian Sun
February 14, 1862
CAPTURE OF ROANOKE ISLAND
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
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
Com. Lynch left
Cobb’s Point with 52 officers and men who have escaped. But six of his men were killed and three
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
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.
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.
by Sharon Strout]