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Battle of Roanoke Island
New York Times Article

THE BATTLE OF ROANOKE; Overwhelming Success of the Burnside Expedition. Roanoke Island and Elizabeth City Captured. The National Forces Pushing on to Edenton. Total Destruction of the Rebel Flotilla. Three Hundred Rebels Killed and Twenty-five Hundred Taken Prisoners. REPORTS OF THE NATIONAL LOSSES. SECOND DISPATCH. THIRD DISPATCH. MAILS FOR THE BURNSIDE EXPEDITION.

FORTRESS MONROE, Tuesday, Feb. 11, via BALTIMORE, Wednesday, Feb. 12. By a flag of truce to-day we learn the complete success of the Burnside Expedition at Roanoke Island. The Island was taken possession of, and Commomodore LYNCH's fleet completely destroyed. Elizabeth City was attacked on Sunday, and evacuated by the inhabitants. The city was previously burned, but whether by our shells or the inhabitants is not certain. The first news of the defeat arrived at Norfolk on Sunday afternoon, and caused great excitement. The previous news was very satisfactory, stating that Yankees had been allowed to advance for the purpose of drawing them into a trap. The rebel force on the island is supposed to have been only a little over three thousand efficient fighting men. General WISE was ill at Nag's Head, and was not present during the engagement. When the situation became dangerous, he was removed to Norfolk. All the gunboats but one were taken, and that escaped up a creek, and was probably also destroyed. One report says that only seventy, and another that only twenty-five of the Confederates escaped from the island. General HUGER telegraphed to Richmond that only fifty on the island escaped. There appears to be no bright side of the story for the rebels. The Richmond Examiner, this morning, in a leading editorial says: "The loss of our entire army on Roanoke Island is certainly the most painful event of the war. The intelligence of yesterday by telegraph is fully confirmed. Twenty-five hundred brave troops on an island in the sea were exposed to all the force of the Burnside fleet They resisted with the most determined courage, but when fifteen thousand Federal troops were landed against them, retreat being cut off by the surrounding element, they were forced to surrender. This is a repetition of the Hatteras affair on a large scale." The following dispatches on the subject are taken from the Richmond papers of this morning: NORFOLK, Monday, Feb. 10. The latest news states that Capt. O. JENNINGS WISE, son of Gov. WISE, was shot through the hip and disabled, though his wound was not mortal. Maj. LAWSON and Lieut. MILLER were mortally wounded. About 300 Confederatds were killed. Our wounded numbers over 1,000. The number of Yankees wounded is about the same. Midshipman CANS had his arm shot off. The other causalties are as yet unreported. A late arrival this morning says that Elizabeth City had been shelled and burned by the Yankees, and that the enemy was pushing on to Edenton. NORFOLK, Monday, Feb. 10. A rumor has prevailed that Commodore LYNCH's fleet of gunboats had been captured. It is not regarded as true, but it is believed that all were burned by the Confederates to prevent their capture, with the exception of one, which was endeavoring to make its escape. The fleet went to Elizabeth City from Roanoke Island, and was probably burnt at the former point. NORFOLK, Monday, Feb. 10. A dispatch was received at Richmond, at midnight, stating as follows: "A courier arrived here this afternoon at 4 o'oclock and brought the intelligence that Elizabeth City was burned this morning by its inhabitants. During the conflagration the Federals landed a large force. All our gunboats excepting one were captured by the enemy. Gen. WISE has not yet arrived at Norfolk." The following "very latest" we copy from to-day's Norfolk Day Book: "A courier arrived here yesterday afternoon about 3 o'clock, from whom we gather the following information: The enemy advanced in full force upon Elizabeth City yesterday, about 7 o'clock, and began an attack upon that place. The citizens, finding resistance vain evacuated the place, but, before doing so, set fire to the town, and when our informant left, it was still in flames. We have also to record the capture, by the enemy, of all our little fleet, except the Fanny, or Forrest, our informant is not certain which. This eluded the enemy, and made up Pasquotank River. She was pursued, however, and fears are entertained that she was captured. It is said that before our boats surrendered they were abandoned, and that their crews succeeded in making their escape. If so, we are at a loss to conjecture why the boats were; not fired before they were abandoned. The disaster to our little fleet is attributed to the fact that having exhausted their supply of coal and ammunition, they proceeded to Elizabeth City for the purpose of obtaining a supply. Every effort was made to obtain coal, but without success, and the boats could not, therefore, return to the island and lend any assistance whatever to our forces. All the details as published with reference to the capture of Roanoke Island are confirmed by the courier, who represents our loss at three hundred killed and wounded, and that of the enemy not less than one thousand killed. Great havoc was made among the enemy while coming up the road leading to the fort. Our forces brought to bear upon them two 32-pounders, and a every fire their ranks were terribly thinned. The places of the fallen, however, were quickly filled. The Park Point battery was manned by the Richmond Blues and most nobly did they defend it. During the conflict they were attacked by a whole regiment of Zouaves, and though completely overpowered they stood their ground. They did not yield a foot, until all but seven of them had fallen bleeding to the ground. There is good reason to believe that had Col. HENNINGSEN, with his artillery, been on the Island, it would not have been forced to surrender. The Jack of field-pieces was sadly felt, and had they been at hand, perhaps the enemy never would have been able to have landed their forces. Col. HENNINGSEN had orders, we understand, to report to Roanoke Island, but by some misunderstanding, he mistook Elizabeth City for his place of destination. Capt. TAYLOR, of this city, is represented as having greatly distinguished himself. In addition to the above, there are many rumors we might give, but as they are nothing more than rumors, we prefer withholding them. Among them, however, is one worthy of notice, that Gen. WISE had been shot while on his way in an ambulance. The statement, so far as we have been able to learn, is untrue. We can only account for it by supposing that the name of the General was confounded with that of his son, who was reported among the killed. It is reported that one regiment from Massachusetts was badly cut up, but is impossible to ascertain which of the five it was that were attached to the Expedition. All the Southern papers received to-day are unanimous in admitting a complete victory to our troops, and in saying that the loss of the island is a very serious one. The news received to-day occasions great excitement at Old Point. A steamer with official dispatches from Gen. BURNSIDE is hourly expected. The prisoners captured, numbering at least 2,000, will be here in a few days. Letters left in the care of FRANK E. HOWE, NO. 203 Broadway, or at the Astor House, will be forwarded to the Burnside Expedition to-morrow, the departure of the steamer having been postponed one day.

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