HDQRS. FOURTH REGIMENT RHODE ISLAND VOLS.,
DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
Beaufort, N. C, May 1, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report the action of the Fourth Rhode Island <ar9_291> in the reduction of Fort Macon, which surrendered to our forces on the 26th ultimo:
After a march, which was necessarily a forced one, the Third Brigade of this department, or a portion of it, arrived and invested Fort Macon on March 26. The Fourth Rhode Island had two companies in Beaufort, one in Carolina City, and seven on the Banks. The labor of those on the Banks was very arduous, as much so as we could well endure, which was cheerfully performed without flinching. Five companies of the Fourth alternately relieved the. Eighth Connecticut and Fifth Rhode Island Battalion in the trenches for fifteen days, exposed through the day to the fire of the enemy, during which time our siege batteries were planted. Not a day passed that the enemy did not open on us, firing from 30 to 50 shells, none of which, I am happy to say, injured any of my regiment.
The exposure and fatigue incident to our duty has largely increased our sick list, and we have lost 6 men by death since we arrived. Their names will appear in the adjutant's report to General Mauran, which we have at last completed.
Our batteries opened on the morning of the 26th, and in two or three hours told with fearful effect on the enemy's works. They held out for about ten hours, when by a flag of truce they requested a cessation of hostilities preparatory to a surrender. General Burnside granted this, and on the morning of the 27th Fort Macon was ours. The Fifth Rhode Island Battalion, being on duty in the trenches, received their arms, and five companies of my regiment relieved Major Wright, guarding the prisoners until they were shipped off. The fort is much damaged by our fire and some twenty-six guns were rendered unfit for service. The flag that was flying on the fort General Parke has requested General Burnside to send to you.
Nine companies of the Fourth are now quartered here, and we have a fine building for a hospital, where, I do not doubt, our men will rapidly improve. Dr. Millar assures me that they are better already. I hope soon to have the most of them able for duty.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
I have the honor to remain, your obedient servant,
I. P. RODMAN,
Colonel -Fourth Rhode Island Volunteers.
Gov. WILLIAM SPRAGUE,
Providence, R. I