Head Quarters 9th N.Y.Vols.
Roanoke Island, N.C.
April 21st 1862
Col.: I have the honor to report that in pursuance of your order of the 18th inst., I left this camp at 11 oclock of that date and proceeded to your Head Quarters with the 9th Reg. N.Y. Vols., numbering an aggregate force of 727 men with whom I embarked on the transport steamer Ocean Wave I there proceeded to land my command at the point designated by you the whole force having to wade middle deep in water, in order to reach the shore from the surfboats.
I landed with the first detachment, Co. A" Capt. Graham, when ordered forward with his Company to take possession of a house about one eighth of a mile from the point of landing, and also threw forward a picket on the road towards Camden, which order he promptly executed. - I there formed the remaining Companies of the Regiment in line of battle and awaited your orders, which I received from yourself in person at about 2 o'clock on the morning of the 19th
From this time until you were seriously wounded, while gallantly leading your command in a charge against the enemy, I shall not attempt to enter so fully into details as I otherwise should, had not your regiment during that period been constantly under your eye & immediate command.
Allow me, however to express my gratitude and admiration as the cheerful and determined manner with which the men endured every hardship and fatigue of march, & notwithstanding they had no sleep the night before, they made the entire march (of not less than 30 miles) in their wet clothes and stockings in a broiling sun and arrived at the field of battle in less than eight hours.
At this time the troops were so exhausted they could hardly drag one leg after the other, but when the order to charge was given, they replied with a cheer and did so, attacking the enemy in a manner so intrepid and determined as to force him back, and although not at that time entering his position, the object of the charge was accomplished, as upon being partially repulsed, our movement to the woods on his left led him to suppose he was to be attacked on his flank and rear when he immediately vacated his position.
The bravery and intrepidity displayed by every one engaged in this charge which was made across an open field of two [two is written in pencil above seven, which has been crossed out] hundred yards directly in front of the enemy who was posted in the woods on our left & in front and consequently enfilading us by his fire, has but few parallels.
Where all behaved so gallantly it would be invidious to mention as particularly distinguished one above the other, but I would take this opportunity to call your very favorable attention to Major Jardine (slightly wounded) who, on this occasion, (as well as all others when required) displayed a care for the Regiment and gallantry on battle field seldom equaled.
Capt's. Graham, Hammell, Lieuts. Bartholemew, Klingsocher, Powell & McKechnie, wounded the latter in command (the Capt of the co. having been left in command of this camp.)
Capt's. Le Baire, Parisen, Leahy, also Capt. Whiting, Lieut. Morris and Herbert in charge of the battery of the Regiment, did splendid service.
Lieuts. Child, Barnett (the Capt being absent recruiting,) John K Perley, (the Captain falling out from exhaustion having been sick when he formed the expedition,) Lieut. Webster (in command of co. A after the Capt. was wounded,) all commanding Companies are entitled to great credit.
Lieuts. Cooper, Burdett, Donaldson, Henry C. Perley, (the latter in command of Co. F after the Captain was wounded,) sustained their previous high reputation.
Surgeon Humphreys of this Regiment acting Brigade Surgeon is entitle to very great credit, having been constantly in attendance on the wounded till after the arrival at this place and upwards of 28 hours without sleep. I would also on behalf of Surgeon Humphrey and myself express our own and the thanks of the whole Regiment to Surgeon Jones of the U.S. Navy attached to the flag ship Philadelphia and Squires of the 89th N.Y. Vols., and Asst. Surgeon Cooper of the 6th N.H. Vols., for assistance rendered to our wounded.
I cannot close this report without bearing testimony to the good conduct on the battle field and in the Field Hospital of the Revd. T.W. Conway, Chaplain of this regiment. He not only encouraged the men in the field and aided the wounded after the army had left and buried and performed the funeral service over all the dead of the different regiments. He then collected, took command of, & brought safely into camp about 40 stragglers from the different regiments who had fell out by the roadside from exhaustion.
I would also call particular attention to the wounded non commissioned officers & privates whose names and company this report, all of whom patiently endured the pain of their wounds until they could be properly attended to, without a murmur, and many of them with cheerfulness, thereby showing their discipline, as soldiers and determination as patriots.
Although the field was won its price was dear to the Regiment - particularly so in the loss of its Adjutant, that gallant soldier and gentleman Lieut. Charles A, Gadsden - He was but lately appointed and had only been only with the regiment for the short space of five days, but in that time he had shown his ability as a soldier and endeared himself to all with whom he had come in contact.-
He died gallantly at the head of the regiment, and in the honorable performance of his duties of his profession which he had so lately adopted.
All regret his death and will ever kindly and proudly remember him & his conviction with this Regiment.
The deaths of Corporals Otto Von Grieff and William Saward & Privates Dillman, Kelly, Sheppard, Cavanaugh, Mayne & Daley, are deeply felt by their companies and the entire regiment. Their friends may know that they died as true soldiers are willing to die and that their names are embalmed in the hearts of their comrades & will ever when spoken be revered by a grateful people.
After the battle the regiment bivouacked on the ground from which the enemy was dislodged & scarcely had the men thrown themselves down when, notwithstanding the sun was falling fast, they were in a profound slumber from which they were soon after with difficulty awaked with an order to immediately take up their march for our transports.
Upon arising from the ground I found myself almost totally disabled from the pain of a sprained leg & foot, with which you are aware I have been suffering most of the day, & as my horse was shot from under me during the action, I was compelled to temporarily place Major Jardine in command of the regiment who formed it in a most admirable manner in the short space of ten minutes, not a word being spoken except the command of the officers given in whispers shortly after which a horse was procured for me when I resumed command - and in accordance with orders marched the regiment at a quick pace through mud ankle deep in almost pitch darkness a distance of 12 miles to the drawbridge near Camden, which we held until the entire army had passed over at daylight. I there as previously directed end away the bridge and with my command brought up the rear of the last division till arriving at our transports at about 9 a.m. with many of the men barefoot & completely exhausted & their feet blistered or skinned, after which nothing worthy of note happened.
Herewith I enclose a list as follows of the killed and wounded, all of whom were shot within fifteen minutes after we entered the open field & also a list of the missing supposed to have been taken prisoners.
Adjutant Chas. A. Gadsden
Private Adam Dillman of Co. E
Thomas T. Kelly
Corporal Otto Von Grieff F
Private Herman Shepherd
William D. Cavanaugh H
Corporal Wm. Saward I
Capt. Andrew S. Graham flesh wound in arm and leg
Wm. H. Hammell " " " left arm
Lieut. Victor Ithnigvoche spent shot - slightly
[This list of men continues, with 51 more wounded and then a list of 6 missing; see the Casualties section for the remainder of the names.]
Commissioned Officers 7
Non Comm. 13
The following is a list of prisoners taken by the 9th N.Y. Vols. on or near the battle field
D.E. Elder Co. L 3rd Reg. Geo. Vols.
James Y. Bauers Co. B 3rd Reg. Geo. Vols.
Harry Jernigan C
William Williams taken as [?] and paroled
The above prisoners are at this Camp awaiting your orders.
In concluding this report allow me again to express my thanks to every officer and man of the regiment engaged in this action and to bear testimony to their coolness under the hottest of fires and general good conduct as soldiers under all circumstances and also to express our united gratitude to yourself for the consideration you bestowed upon us and gallantly with which you led us, upon this, as well as other occasions.
Your obt. Servant
Lieut. Colonel Commanding 9th N.Y. Vols.
9th Reg. N.Y. Vols.