Today in History:

66 Series I Volume XXXIII- Serial 60 - New Berne

Page 66 OPERATIONS IN N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLV.

miles from New Berne. After ascertaining that the enemy were not below me, and finding that the forces from my left had not passed here yet (Twelfth New York Cavalry and detachment Ninety-ninth New York Infantry), I sent my aide-de-camp up the Trent road, when he soon met Colonel Savage's advance guard. When it reached me, I had the pleasure to find that my hostler had got through with my horse, and I mounted with considerable satisfaction. Soon after this, Colonel Savage (an accomplished officer) reported to me with his command, but finding that Captain Winans, of the Ninety-ninth New York, with his command, stationed at the Red House, had not got in yet, I directed Colonel Savage to deploy some of his command on the right and left of the Trent road to protect Captain Winans on both flanks, when we had soon the satisfaction to see all safe, marching toward New Berne.

I need not here enlarge upon the fact that owing to the vigilance of my pickets and the stubborn resistance at the Neuse road bridge, prevented an overwhelming force of the enemy to rush upon New Berne before even a warning could be given that garrison. The fact that my men have for months at each and every roll-call turned out under arms, causing them to become habituated to them, has contributed largely to the prompt resistance given the enemy. I attach so much importance to this mode of roll-calls that a general order directing it to be done by all the troops would add a great deal to their efficiency.

It may appear from this report as hazardous to detain the second train as long as I did, thereby running the risk of having it cut off at the Neuse road crossing and the loss of the monitor. My reasons were as follows for so doing: First, the monitor enabled me to check the enemy. If I let the train go, I would have had to sacrifice the monitor for want of power to transport it. Second, I was, under the monitor's protection, enabled to get the several companies of the One hundred and thirty-second New York to withdraw in good order, which they all did, even paying, by command of each respective captain the usual military compliment of bringing their arms to a "shoulder" in passing me. Third, my presence was needed at that point to prevent the men from rushing pell-mell into camp endeavoring to save their traps, for it must be remembered that all were ordered in action from 2. 30 a. m. till time of retreat, with nothing but light fighting trim; hence all their dress coats, spare pants, knapsacks, blankets, canteens, and haversacks, besides several had their money in their quarters (having been paid recently), all of which formed strong incentives to save, and it required the highest authority present to check any scattering to camp, because each and every one would have been captured who had gone there. I must also add that the respective officers had all their traps in quarters, adding if possible to the incentive to save, but I must also add that the order I gave to destroy camp was heard by them all, but not a murmur even escaped them. They marched by me as if forming for drill. I am well aware of the personal risk I ran, after men, train, and monitor were sent back, but I knew that my men were of more service to New Berne than myself; hence I deliberately ran the risk of capture, which good fortune willed otherwise and knowledge of ground facilitated.

Of course I cannot state the exact loss of the enemy, but from all reports gathered the enemy has admitted from 300 to 400 being killed and wounded at Batchelder's Creek; and their veterans ad-

Page 66 OPERATIONS IN N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLV.