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70 Series I Volume XXXIII- Serial 60 - New Berne

Page 70 OPERATIONS IN N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLV.

In pursuance of this order I sent Troop G with a howitzer, under the command of Captain Graham, to report at Batchelder's Creek, and directed Captain Roche, commanding Troop A, and Lieutenant Hathaway, commanding Troop L, to hold the road from the Deep Gully to Rocky Run. The remainder of my force, consisting of Troops E, H, and M, with one howitzer, I retained at Rocky Run, sending the gun with a small force across the run to retard the advance of any force coming down the Trent. I sent out strong patrols to Tar Landing, Lime Kiln Landing, Bear Grass Landing, and Camp Palmer.

The morning was foggy, and signals could not be seen. At about 8. 30 a. m. telegraphic communication was open for a short time, and I received from Colonel Claassen a message similar to the one given above, to which I replied . At 9. 30 I received from Colonel Claassen the following communication:

FEBRUARY 1, 1864-8. 55 a. m.

Colonel SAVAGE;

The enemy is in very large force. Get yourself informed and keep informed. I think they will attempt to cross the Trent below you. Let me hear from you in reply.



I replied by telegraph that I had the Trent fully patrolled.

At about 10 Colonel Claassen directed me to fall back with my entire force, inclusive of the Ninety-ninth, to the line of my camp, leaving vedettes to give me information of an approach. I gave orders to this effect at once, but it was not until 12 o'clock that my whole force, with the infantry at Pine Tree, reached my camp.

About 11 I received the following:

COLONEL: We suppose you have already heard of what is going on in our front. You must look well to the cavalry. Keep your communication open with us, and recollect that the defense of New Berne is to be made at New Berne. I do not know what orders you have received from Colonel Claassen, or whether you are in communication with him. If the troops on your right retire you will of course be expected to retire also. Of course much has to be left to your good judgment. Send in couriers occasionally to inform us what you find along the lines to report to Major Foster at district headquarters.

What we hear from Colonel Claassen is that Colonel [General] Pickett's division is on his front, and are advancing with the intention of besieging New Berne.

By command of Brigadier General I. N. Palmer:



At about 12. 30 Lieutenant Linskey, of my regiment, who had been sent with Troop G to Batchelder's Creek, reported that the right had been driven into New Berne, and that the enemy were last the crossing of the Neuse road and the railroad. My wagons had been already loaded; I set fire to my tents and a small quantity of forage, and ordered the troops to move.

At Captain Palmer we were joined by a portion of the One Hundred and thirty-second Regiment, under your command. The column moved forward slowly and was not molested until within sight of Fort Totten, when a few shots were fired from the woods on my left and a line of skirmishers was visible. No regular attack, however, was made, and the enemy retired before a few shots from my howitzer and one or two from the fort.

At this point, learning that Captain Winans, with his detachment

Page 70 OPERATIONS IN N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLV.