Headquarters 89th Regt., N.Y.S.V.
Roanoke Island N.C. April 21st, 1862
Sir: I have to report that my Regiment attached to the 4th Brigade under your command, strength as follows:
Field Officers 3
Non Commissioned Staff 2
Line Officers 23
Non-Comm. Officers & Privates 594
We embarked on board transport Steamer Massasoit 6 Companies and on board flagship Philadelphia 4 companies, on the 18th inst. between 11 A.M. & 2 P.M. o'clock and proceeded on the expedition to destroy the locks of the Dismal Swamp Canal near Elizabeth City, sailing from Roanoke Island at 6 o'clock P.M. We landed on the mainland about 2 o'clock a.m. of the 19th inst. Formed in the line and commenced our march about 4 o'clock, following in rear of the 9th New York & Marine Battery, were delayed about 45 minutes on our march by the Marine Battery taking the wrong road, which compelled us to countermarch, but closed up with the column by a rapid movement. We continued our march by a circuitous route about 30 miles and halted about two miles before Camden to let our Officers and men come up, who had fallen out of line from exhaustion. We heard Artillery open in front and orders were received to proceed at once as two Regiments were already engaged. I immediately formed my Regiment in line, (without waiting for the Officers and men to come up) and advanced joining the 9th on the hill in front of the enemy's battery when I received orders to go to the right and follow that regiment taking position on their left and on the left of the enemy's line; when the Regiments were halted for about 30 minutes, orders were then received to follow the Ninth New York which advanced in front of the enemy and charged, I following to support them. While they were making their charge I received orders to form on their right. We advanced and opened fire when the 9th New York retired in front of us, compelling us to cease firing and I could not charge and ordered my Regiment off and immediately reformed in the adjoining field.
I was then ordered to advance along the fence on the left of the enemy and open fire and if they retreated to follow them to be supported by the 9th New York. We opened fire when the enemy commenced leaving their rifle pits. I immediately ordered my Regiment to charge, we continued to advance until we were ordered to halt and reform our Regiment, the enemy having retreated.
Strength of the Regiment in going into action as follows:
Field Officers 2
Non Commiss. Staff 2
Line Officers 20
Non Commiss. Officers & Priv. 349
In forming our line for the second advance we were reinforced to the number of about 100 officers and men coming up.
Casualties as follow:
Private P. Sullivan, Comp. A. in the abdomen by a musket shot.
2nd Lieut. Wm. A. Camel(Canill?) Comp. A. musket shot through the right thigh.
Private Benj. Craft, Comp. C., slightly wounded in the hand.
S.G. Gwynne I" Sergeant, Comp.
D. Michael Buckley 3rd Sergeant Comp. D.
Corp. A. Harris of Comp. A. was shot through the arm by one of the pickets of our own Regiment, not laying down his gun to give the countersign.
Major Daniel T. Everts received an injury by a fall on board the Steamer Philadelphia, disabling him for duty and was left on board the gunboat Shawsheen.
The officers and men conducted themselves orderly and properly on the march, respecting persons and property and in the action behaving well and gallantly and would have been more effective had it not been for their exhausted condition.
Van Ingen, Sergeant Major in absence of their Major, rendered efficient service in the left wing in keeping the men together.
H. S. Fairchild,
Colonel 89th N.Y.V.
Colonel R. C. Hawkins,
Commdg. 4th Brigade.