Hatteras - September, 1861

    These pages are dedicated to the memory of all the men from North Carolina that fought in the Civil War.

    September, 1861
    North Carolina Standard
    September 4, 1861
    The worst rumors connected with this tragic affair when our last paper went 
    to press have been realized.  Our brave soldiers from the eastern part of the 
    state have been shamefully sacrificed.  The Federal fleet composed of the 
    steam war vessels Minnesota, Wabash, Cumberland, Quaker City, Harriett 
    Lane, Anaconda and Penguin; and the transports Philadelphia, Express, 
    Adelaide, Georgina and others in all said to be 15 vessels left Old point on 
    Monday, 20th August for our coast.  
    Some of the papers stated that the fleet had 100 guns and 4,000 men.  We learn 
    from a gentleman just from Richmond that on Saturday last, on the bulletin 
    board of the Expositor it was stated that there were 12,000 men.  This 
    formidable fleet arrived off Hatteras Inlet on Tuesday evening and after 
    reconnoitering, commenced the bombardment of Forts Hatteras and Clark.
    Hatteras Inlet is situated on what is called the North Banks, six miles south of 
    Cape Hatteras and about 16 miles north of Ocracoke Inlet.  These banks have 
    been in existence from time immemorial forming a belt of sand hills from the 
    Virginia line to the Cape Fear River, indented with inlets and separated from 
    the main land by Currituck, Albemarle, Croatan, Pamlico, Core, Bogue and 
    Topsails Sounds—those sounds varying from one to forty miles wide.  Hatteras, 
    which is connected politically with Hyde County, though separated from it by 
    Pamlico Sound, is 30 miles distant from the main land of Hyde and is 90 miles 
    distant by water from Washington and abut the same distance from Newbern.
    At the time the Federal fleet arrived at Hatteras, the recently elected Colonel of 
    the 4th Regiment was in command, Major Andrews of Goldsboro, commanding 
    the batteries.  From the data we have, the commander must have had some 
    12 guns, 8 at Ft. Hatteras and 4 at Fort Clark. A small battery was recently 
    erected about ¾ of a mile northeast of Fort Hatteras.  The guns were all badly 
    mounted and incapable of being worked to advantage.  He must have had one 
    company from Elizabeth City, one from Currituck, one or two from martin and 
    perhaps one from Camden. 
    Colonel Martin dispatched a message to Beacon Island for four other companies 
    of his command, which arrived there on Wednesday evening, viz., the Washington 
    Grays, Capt. T. Sparrow; Tar River Boys, from Pitt, formerly commanded by Lt. 
    Col. Johnson; the Hertford Light Infantry, Captain Sharp; and another whose name 
    we do not have.  With this small force and an inefficient battery, he determined to 
    give the enemy battle.  
    About the time the action commenced, Com. Barron(?), Colonel Bradford and Major 
    Andrews left there from Newbern.  We learn that Col. Bradford remarked, before 
    leaving Newbern, that he knew the fort was indefensible before a strong force but 
    he intended to defend it or die in the attempt.
    The attack of the fleet commenced at 9:00 Wednesday and was continued until 
    sundown, the two little batteries gallantly replying to them all day.  At night, the 
    fleet seemed to haul off.  He had two or three small steamers lying in sight of the 
    sound, ready to rescue our brave boys—the whole force might have been evacuated 
    on Wednesday night from the forts—but they refused to leave, resolving to 
    defend to the last.  The resolve showed their patriotism and courage but it was 
    an error in judgment.  No one but a consummate blockhead could even have 
    expected or desired such an attempt to be made by so feeble a force and 
    such inefficient batteries against such fearful odds.  But the readiness with 
    which cowardly gas men, who never risk anything themselves, denounce an 
    act of sheer prudence and wise forecast to protect a force against loss of life, 
    no doubt cost those noble fellows to suffer martyrdom.  During the night, the 
    fleet landed from 600 to 1,500 men a mile or two north of the fort which cut off 
    entirely all prospect of escape by way of the banks.
    The bombardment was renewed on Thursday morning at 8:00 with ten-fold vigor.  
    Every means of protection to our men was very soon demolished.  The guns of 
    the steamers sent shot and shell incessantly upon them but our boys stood it, 
    their guns returning the enemy’s shot the best they could.  It is believed several 
    of the vessels were struck, but the superiority of the enemy’s guns enabled them 
    to keep off at a good distance.  Our companies stood for hours and took the fire.  
    The little steamer Governor Hill had arrived, carrying munitions and a few additional 
    guns but it was too late to afford relief.  Lieutenants Murlaugh(?) and Knight were 
    wounded and brought off and somehow captured.  
    On Wednesday, the damage done to our forces was small, but on Thursday it 
    was severe.  The firing continued until 11:00 when Fort Hatteras surrendered; the 
    guns of Fort Clark having been silenced some time before and taken possession 
    of by the enemy.  A gentleman on board one of our little steamers who witnessed 
    the bombardment describes it as being awfully terrific.  When asked if there was 
    any rain there at the time he replied “no, nothing but a rain of hell fire”.
    The supposition is – for we have no certain information as to what took place after 
    the fort surrendered --  that our loss was (illegible word) in killed and wounded and 
    that our entire force consisting of seven or eight companies, surrendered with their 
    officers, together with Colonel Barron, Colonel Bradford, Major Andrews, Colonel 
    Martin, Lt. Colonel Jackson and Major Gilliam.  Many of the young men and officers 
    were our first young men in the eastern counties to volunteer.  Beaufort, Pitt, 
    Martin, Washington, Hartford, Pasquotank, and perhaps Camden and Currituck are 
    in mourning.
    We learn that Beacon Island was evacuated on Saturday morning and that the 
    Federal fleet left Hatteras on Friday, bound to the southward.  We simply give 
    these particulars as we hear them but there is still a mystery about the affair. 
    On Saturday morning, Governor Clark sent down Lt. Crossan as bearer of a flag 
    of truce to ask for our dead and wounded.
    We learn that troops are being rapidly sent to the seaboard and that soon a large 
    force will be concentrated at all the important points.  All our boys ask is a chance 
    on land at our cowardly enemies who skulk around to ravage the coast but who 
    lack the courage to face armies in the open field.  
    Later:  We learn from a source that we had only seven killed in the fort and 
    only 28 wounded.  Three have since died.  The names of the killed we have not 
    been able to learn.  The flag of truce sent down by Governor Clark was not 
    permitted to go to the fort but was met at a short distance and communicated 
    with him.
    We learn that most of the fleet had left for Oak Point with the prisoners, 
    numbering about 850.  A force has been left with two or three vessels and 
    the Yankees are rebuilding the fort.  The houses of the dwellers about the inlet,
    it is said, were consumed by the Yankees.  It is said that Colonel Barron was 
    among the wounded.  The Yankees took the wounded with them.  Mr. V.B. 
    Gilbert, a private, late of this city, is said to be among the killed.
    North Carolina Standard
    September 18, 1861
    We have observed that letters have been received from Major Andrews of 
    Goldsboro and Captain Sparrow of Washington by their families.  Many of the 
    friends of the captured have received letters from them, we presume.  We are 
    glad that they write cheerfully and speak of being treated kindly.
    North Carolina Standard
    October 2, 1861
    We are permitted, says the Fayetteville Observer, to copy the following extract 
    from a letter of Major Edward hall of the 7th N.C.V. in command in Hyde Co., to 
    a member of his family:
    “I am delighted with the country I am in, it is without a doubt the finest in the state.  
    The whole county is an immense cornfield and the people are the most kind and 
    hospitable I ever saw.  We are camped on the banks of the Matampskeet Lake, 
    a most beautiful body of water. The officers and men are delighted.  We are as 
    near the enemy as we can get without crossing the sound.  I have cut off all 
    communication with Hatteras and have today taken eight prisoners who had taken 
    the oath of allegiance.  The people of Hyde are as true and loyal as any in the state 
    and not a Yankee has yet landed.”
    Rev. John N. Andrews, late chaplain of the 3rd Regiment N.C.V., is now raising a 
    volunteer company in Wayne and Johnson Counties, N.C.  He is determined to 
    avenge his brother, Major S.W.G. Andrews, who was captured at Hatteras. 
    William F. Martin’s Report:  Surrender of Port Hatteras
    Colonel, 7th Regiment N.C.V.
    To the Adjutant General of N.C.
    I herewith report the surrender of Forts Clark and Hatteras at Hatteras Inlet on the 
    28th and 29th August and the surrender of all the officers and troops then present.
    On Tuesday afternoon, 27th August, about 4:00, I discovered a large fleet in sight 
    of Hatteras and after an hour or more by the aid of a glass, I made out what I 
    considered seven large war steamers, two transports, apparently crowded with 
    men and two or three small tug steamers, having at that point between about 
    250 and 300 men and learning from the officer in charge of Forts Clark and 
    Hatteras that it would require at least 225 men to work the guns properly and 
    give the necessary relief and knowing with the residue of the men I could not 
    successfully resist a landing of the enemy’s troops, I determined to sent to 
    Portsmouth for aid.
    There being no steam boat at Hatteras, after an hour or more, I succeeded in 
    getting a pilot boat and dispatched it with orders to Lt. Col. George W. Johnson 
    of Portsmouth to bring relief to my aid from Portsmouth all the men that possibly 
    could be spared.  This dispatch which I had hoped and expected to have reached 
    him in a few hours, he did not get until the morning of the next day.  
    Immediately upon receiving my orders, Lt. Col. Johnston made every effort to 
    come to my aid and succeeded in reaching Hatteras at dark on the 28th with 
    Major H.A. Gilliam and portions of the following companies:  Company E of the 
    7th Regiment N.C.V, St. George W. Grimes commanding; sixty men and two 
    lieutenants of Company G, 7th Regiment, Lt. M.T. Moye commanding with 73 
    men and one second lieutenant; Company K, 7th Regiment N.C.V., Captain 
    Thomas H. Sharpe commanding with 64 men and 2 second lieutenants; a 
    company of state troops, Capt. Thomas Sparrow commanding with fifty men 
    and all his officers.   At the time of their arrival, Lt. Col. Johnston, Commodore 
    Barron of the C.S. Navy and Major W.S.G Andrews commanding the artillery 
    defenses at Forts Clark and Hatteras also arrived.
    Upon the arrival of Commodore Barron and Major Andrews, I held a consultation 
    with the major and we agreed that it was advisable to surrender the command of 
    our defenses to the commodore, having entire confidence in his skill, experience 
    and bravery.  The offer of the command was made to him and he consented to 
    take charge.  Since you have the reports of the commodore and major, I therefore 
    deem it unnecessary to say anything to the attack and surrender on the 29th 
    further than to remark that the officers and men behaved well, exhibiting great 
    coolness and bravery that we were placed at such a disadvantage having neither 
    sufficient armament to compete at all with the enemy and having a fortification 
    not sufficiently well constructed to enable us to remain still and endure the fire 
    of the enemy.
    On the morning of the 28th, between 8:00 and 9:00, a heavy fire was opening 
    from the steamers Minnesota, Wabash, Susquehanna and the other war vessels 
    upon Fort Clark and upon almost all parts of the island, particularly at the point 
    where they intended to land troops.  The fire was continued upon Ft. Clark and 
    upon all the little skirts of woods where troops might possibly be concealed.  
    For several hours it was a fire of shells only. It might well be spoken of as a flood 
    of shells.  The fire of the enemy was promptly returned by Captain John C. Lamb 
    of Company D, 7th Regiment N.C.V. who was in charge of Ft. Clark and was 
    regularly kept up by him until every charge of powder and primer was exhausted.  
    It was while gallantly directly fire of one of the guns at Fort Clark that Lt. Knight of 
    Company D, 7th Regiment N.C.V. received a severe wound in the arm from a 
    fragment of a shell.  While most of their shot fell short yet some reached the 
    enemy doing, however, but little damage as they were all round shot that were fired.
    Our ammunition being entirely exhausted at Ft. Clark, and the enemy having 
    landed some forces, I called the officers together who were at Ft. Clark and it 
    was unanimously agreed that it was advisable to render the guns useless and fall 
    back to Ft. Hatteras.  This being agreed to, I sent orders to the various bodies of 
    men whom I had stationed at the skirts of the woods to resist the advance of the 
    enemy upon Ft. Clark, that Ft. Clark could not be held and they must fall back 
    upon Ft. Hatteras.  
    The guns at Ft. Clark were spiked as effectually as it was possible to do with 
    nails having no proper spikes and everything was taken off that we could carry 
    and we fell back under a most terrible fire of shells to Ft. Hatteras.  We reached 
    there about 1:00.  
    I should state that Lt. A.W. Exxod(?) of Capt. W. Sutten’s Company of State Troops 
    had charge of one of the guns at Ft. Clark and I can well say that he discharged his 
    duty as a man and a soldier.
    I regret to state that while some of the men were passing from Camp Gwynn 
    which was on the sound shore and about two miles from Ft. Hatteras, one man 
    and possibly two, were killed by shells of the enemy.  I have not been able to 
    learn their names.
    Having collected all the troops at Ft. Hatteras, I determined to make as good a 
    resistance as possible.  Consulting with Capt. Cohoon(?) of Company B, 7th 
    Regiment, N.C.V., who had charge of Ft. Hatteras, with his company, we 
    agreed that it was useless to expend our shot on the enemy as we were 
    beyond reach so we must endure until they came nearer.  Ft. Hatteras 
    submitted to the fire for some time without returning a shot.  At about 4:00 p.m. 
    one of the enemy steamers undertook to go through the inlet when we opened 
    fire upon her and drove her back putting several round shots into her but doing 
    her, I suppose, no material damage.
    The firing between Ft. Hatteras and the enemy continued until nightfall or 
    rather the fire of the enemy upon the fort continued for they kept so well 
    beyond the reach of our guns that we only wasted our ammunition firing at them.
    I regret to report that in addition to the officers who had their companies with 
    them, several other officers are prisoners who were present in the engagement 
    and have shared the fate of the command post.  I enclose a list of all officers 
    not in command who are prisoners of war.  Among those officers are Captain 
    D.J. Johnston and Lt. James T. Lassel:  these officers were summoned there 
    from their command to attend a general court martial at that point by General 
    Gwynn and in this way have fallen with the command at Hatteras. 
    The wounded requiring treatment are all on board the steamer Adelaide and 
    heading for Old Point.  The surgeon of the regiment is Dr. Brown who is with 
    them and I have received no report from him.  In conclusion, I state as far as 
    I can learn, our destination, we are bound to Ft. Hamilton, N.Y. and I may say 
    we have been treated very kindly both officers and men by those in whose 
    charge we are placed.
    North Carolina Standard
    November 6, 1861
    The Hatteras prisoners have been removed from new York to Boston.  About 
    sixty are invalids mostly typhoid cases.
    Twenty of our prisoners who were taken by the Yankees at Hatteras and who 
    have been released upon their oath not to take up arms against Lincoln, 
    reached Norfolk on the 31st ult.  They have been detained at Old Point by 
    General Wood for two weeks until the fleet sailed.
    Smith Merce, Jonesboro Guards
    Logan Matts, Lenoir Braves
    Jas. A. Hines, Lenoir Braves
    Benjamin Brown, Hamilton Guards
    D.J. Wi- - ford, Hertford Light Infantry
    Miles Jones, N.C. Defenders
    Mathias Sawyer, N.C. Defenders
    W.R. Barton, Lenoir Braves
    J.M. Whitehurst, Jonesboro Guards
    Albert Coburn, Hamilton Guards
    William Hassell, Morris Guards
    John Berry, N.C. Defenders
    William Bland, Hamilton Guards
    William A. Brady, Independent Greys
    William F. Clark, Tar River Boys
    John H. Jenkins, Lenoir Braves
    Thomas J. Ferrell, Jonesboro Guards
    William A. Overton, Hertford Light Infantry
    Wilson D. Williams, Jonesboro Guards
    North Carolina Standard
    December 4, 1861
    Deaths in the 7th Regiment
    We have been furnished with the following authentic account of deaths in that 
    portion of the 7th Regiment captured at Fort Hatteras from the Office of the 
    Adjutant General in this city.
    List of Privates belonging to the 7th Regiment N.C.V. who died at Governor’s 
    Island, N.Y. Harbor and at Fort Warren, Boston Harbor.
    At Governor’s Island
    J.C. Midyett, Sept. 28, Company D, Captain Lamb
    W.B. Griffin, Sept. 28, Company E, Capt. Gilliam
    Hesca Blount, Sept. 30, Company E, Capt. Gilliam
    Thomas Carter(?), Sept. 29, Company K, Capt. Sharp
    A Mcallen(?) or Meailen(?), Oct. 4, Company D, Capt. Lamb
    David Swan, Oct. 4, Company E, Capt. Gilliam
    John R. Harrell(?), Oct. 7, Company I, Capt. Clements
    J.B. Collins, Oct. 7, Capt. Duke (no number)
    John B. Scott, Oct. 8, Company I, Capt. Clements
    W.A. Philpot, Oct. 8, Company I, Capt. Clements
    D. Rogerson, Oct. 9, Company D, Capt. Lamb
    James G. Harrell, Oct. 10, Company E, Capt. Gilliam
    M. Robertson, Oct. 11, Company D, Capt. Lamb
    James Whitehurst, Oct. 11, Capt. Duke (no number)
    H. Tyson, Oct. 13, Company G, Capt. Johnston
    Wilson G. Gregory, Oct. 17, Capt. Duke (no number)
    Staton(?) Roberson, Oct. 24, Company D, Capt. Lamb
    W.H. Brown, Oct. 27, Capt. Duke (no number)
    Stephen Kite, Oct. 28, Company I, Capt. Clements
    Samuel Tetterton, Oct. 30, Company D, Capt. Lamb
    Frederick Jolly, Nov. 6, Company D, Capt. Lamb
    George Sawyer, Nov. 8, Company B (Fort Warren), Capt. Cohoon(?)
    Note:  Lt. Col. Johnston and Major Gilliam are names as captains in the above list.  
    Their companies are meant.  (transcriber’s note, not sure what the last means but 
    that was what was printed.)

    Transcribed by Christine Spencer May 2007

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