Today in History:

85 Series I Volume XXXIII- Serial 60 - New Berne


(copy marked Numbers 4) to General Barton. Before night marched halfway to Newport Barracks. During the day caught a deserter from the enemy and derived from him valuable information of the position, strength, and condition of the enemy, on which I acted and all of which was true. I am of opinion this man should be treated differently from the other prisoners.

It rained this (Monday) night, and fearing the condition of the roads, the transportation that could be spared was sent back over White Oak.

Early next morning, still raining, the command moved in the following order: Colonel Jackson commanding the advance, composed of all the cavalry under Lieutenant-Colonel Jeffords; four pieces of artillery, Ellis's battery, of Moore's battalion, the major also with it; two companies of the Seventeenth and one of the Forty-second, then the Seventeenth, under Lieutenant-Colonel Lamb, the Forty-second, under Colonel Brown, and Paris' battery, followed by the train and rear guard.

About 12 o'clock the advance came on the enemy's pickets and immediately charged them over a most dreadful piece of road, killing and capturing, I believe, the whole picket. In this charge Lieutenant Muse, of Captain Harris's company (cavalry), was killed just as he in the act of striking his enemy. His blow fell, wounding the enemy, apparently, after he had been himself killed. Moved steadily and quickly forward and soon came to the first block-house, which was hurriedly left by the enemy after a few discharges from our artillery. About 4 miles farther came to the second block-house, at the junction of the man sound road to Morehead City and the road to Newport Barracks (distant about 4 miles). In this block-house was a piece of artillery and the enemy indicated an intention to hold it. The artillery of the advance had already opened fire upon it when I came up. A company of the Seventeenth, well instructed as skirmishers, was at once thrown forward under the fire, of our artillery, with orders to take it if practicable. Captain Biggs' company was designated for this attack. Lieutenant Hassell, acting brigade ordnance officer, belonging to this company, asked and received permission to join it for this service. When within about 200 yards Captain Biggs charged the work with such energy that after a few discharges the enemy fled in disorder. After a short delay moved off on the road to Newport Barracks. Advancing about 2 miles, as we emerged from a thick wood to a prairie and swamp the enemy opened on us with artillery. He had formed line on rising ground, his front without tress, then a swamp, and then another unwooded field. In this second the Seventeenth and Forty-second formed line on the right and left of the road. Colonel Jackson's infantry still farther to the left, and the cavalry in reserve. Two companies from each regiment were thrown forward as skirmishers. The artillery was ordered to move forward on the road and use their guns as best they could. As soon as these arrangements were made the whole command advanced and a little later the order was given to charge the enemy. He broke and fled in disorder after a few rounds, and passing by the barracks, firing the store-houses and stables with some horses tied in them, crossed Newport River, tearing up and setting fire to the county and railroad bridges. The fire on the railroad bridge was extinguished, but later in the evening I judged it best to burn it. It was now too dark to follow the enemy.