Today in History:

83 Series I Volume XXXIII- Serial 60 - New Berne


4 and 5, and congratulate you on your success. So far, provided you hold the communication from Morehead City, you have done all and more than General Lee directed. It might have been well if you could have captured and burned Morehead with the pier there. If you have not moved as directed, or rather suggested, in my dispatch of this morning, I would reiterate the advice therein given- to move so as to secure your rear and approach nearer to co-operate with the main attack. All this, of course, subject to your better knowledge of roads and information of the enemy's movements.

From Pickett's dispatch to General Cooper I do not know how far his success extends or what he has done toward the main object. He appears, however, to have beaten the enemy. I would keep as bold a front as possible, and whenever you can, destroy culverts and the tanks of the railroad. That was the object of your expedition. I don't think the enemy will re-enforce Morehead from New Berne nor threaten your rear, but they may do so from sea. You must therefore keep a good lookout, and if certain they are re-enforced too heavily for you to manage, move back before them, taking your line either toward Kenansville or by the sound, as most expedient.

All this, however, will depend entirely on the information you receive from Pickett and his operations and from the enemy. I am not afraid of their hurting you. Keep me advised.

Very truly, yours,



Brigadier General J. G. MARTIN,

Commanding in Front.

Wilmington, February 6, 1864.

GENERAL: I inclose for your information the report* of Lieutenant-Colonel Jeffords, of Fifth South Carolina Cavalry, relative to his portion of the late movements near New Berne. It is addressed to Captain Elliott, assistant adjutant- general to Brigadier-General Martin, who commanded the expedition from this place, and is forwarded by him to me.

As I telegraphed you on the 2nd instant, General Martin was completely successful, driving the enemy from strong positions fortified, destroying their barracks and the railroad bridge at Newport River, and forcing the enemy with considerable loss to retreat to Beaufort.

On the night of the 2nd he received a dispatch from General Barton that his expedition had failed and he would join the main attack, followed by another that General Pickett was successful and wished General Martin to act and hold the railroad. This had been already done. Finally, on the 4th, the day of Colonel Jeffords' reconnaissance, General Martin was informed that the troops were withdrawn to Kinston.

The report of Lieutenant-Colonel Jeffords is interesting, as showing the great demoralization of the enemy.

I will send you as soon as received Genera Martin's report in detailed. He deserves great credit for the skillful and completely suc-


* See inclosure Numbers 16 t Martin's report, p. 91.