Today in History:

27 Series I Volume XXXIII- Serial 60 - New Berne


The negroes numbers flocked to the beach, and many of them, to the number of 80, returned with the expedition.

There were collected about 60 horses and mules, but owing to the fact that the landing was destroyed and the wind from off shore was quite high, it was almost impossible to embark them. Although offices and men labored for several hours, they were only able to place on board, by building a temporary platform, about 10.

During the operations of the force on land, which I personally superintended, the gun-boats General Jessup and Smith Briggs were ordered to proceed up the river to a position which commanded an extensive view in the direction of Richmond, both to command the neck of land where the land forces were operating and to watch for the approach of the iron-clad Richmond, which was reported to be on the James River.

While executing this duty, the gun-boat General Jessup having the advance, two vessels made their appearance and were brought to and captured by that vessel. One of these was the sloop Birdloe, of Warwick, apparently used for the purpose of carrying wood, and was without a cargo, having 2 men on board a crew. The other was the schooner Thomas F. Dawson, of Richmond, loaded with 242 boxes of tobacco, William Henley captain, with 3 seamen and 5 foreign Jews, blockade-runners, as passengers. Upon searching the vessel a large box of jewelry was discovered, and upon the persons of the men papers proving them to be blockade-runners, also the following amount of money: $755 in gold, $656 in Treasury notes, $7,000 in bonds on the States of Florida, Maryland, and North Carolina, $347 in Confederate money, $3 in silver, $1,796. 50 in Southern bank-notes, $10 in Northern bank-notes; in all, $10,567. 50. Not a shot was fired at the expedition, either going or coming, and it is believed that its landing, owing to the capture of the signal party referred to, was not perceived until several hours after it was effected. Captain Lee, of the harbor police, is deserving of the most creditable mention for the judgment he displayed in making his dispositions and the celerity with which his movements were executed. Lieutenant Harris, of the General Jessup, also displayed much zeal and is entitled not only to recommendations but promotion for his services. The detachment from the Twenty-first Connecticut Volunteers, under Captains Brown and Long and Lieutenants Shepard, Crane, Dutton, McKinney, and Edwards, rendered good service. In the main all the detachments behaved well, although I regret to say that some of the men gave way to intemperance, a large quantity of liquor having been found on the premises of Dr. Ritchie.

Lieutenant Bullard, one of my aides, was with Captain Lee when the signal party was surprise, and he and Lieutenant Benson, likewise of my staff were indefatigable in the performance of the arduous duties which devolved upon them.

At 10. 40 p. m. the expedition arrived at Fortress Monroe.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding Naval Brigade.

Major-General BUTLER,

Commanding Department of Virginia and North Carolina.