Today in History:

86 Series I Volume XXXIII- Serial 60 - New Berne

Page 86 OPERATIONS IN N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLV.

In this fight Captain Leith, of the Seventeenth, a brave and efficient officer, was mortally wounded while commanding his company as skirmishers; also 5 privates killed or mortally wounded and 14 less severely wounded.

About 8 o'clock the troops were ordered into camp, and to be ready to move at daylight in the morning. As soon as possible General Whiting was informed of our success by dispatch (copy marked Numbers 5.) By the same courier a dispatch (copy marked 6.) was sent to General Barton.

At 2. 30 o'clock on the morning of the 3rd a dispatch (copy marked Numbers 7.) was received from General Barton; two hours later another (copy marked Numbers 8.) In consequence of this last it was determined to hold the railroad where the command was, at the junction of the county roads from Beaufort and Morehead City.

A detachment of cavalry, under Colonel Jackson, was sent toward Morehead City early on the morning of the 3rd, and another, under Lieutenant-Colonel Jeffords, toward New Berne. Smaller ones were also sent on other roads. Dispatch (copy marked Numbers 9.) was sent to General Barton. On the return of Colonel Jackson he reported the road so blocked up with trees as to be impassable to cavalry. An infantry party was then ordered to Morehead City, but before reaching it was recalled on account of General Barton's dispatches (copies marked Nos. 10 and 11.)

Lieutenant-Colonel Jeffords made his reconnaissance to within 1 1\2 miles of New Berne with an energy and soundness of judgment worthy of high commendation (see copies of his report marked Nos. 12 to 16.) Copies were sent at the time to Generals Whiting and Barton.

The results of this expedition are 4 heavy dirt forts captured, 3 block-house, with 1 flag, 10 pieces of artillery, 20 barrels of powder, several hundred small-arms, 200 boxes fixed ammunition for artillery, a considerable quantity of forage and other stores, 1,000 quarters, stables, store-houses, called Newport Barracks, for 1,000 infantry, two companies of cavalry, and one of artillery; 3 railroad bridges, some trestle-work, some of the track at Croatan, and 2 large county bridges, all burnt or destroyed except one valuable piece of artillery brought away. About 30 horses and 2 wagons were also brought off and the telegraph wire was cut. The men saved from the burning building many overcoats, blankets, and other articles of clothing. My officers report about 20 of the enemy killed and from 40 to 50 wounded. One lieutenant and 73 men were brought to this city prisoners, and 4 men paroled, who were so badly wounded as to be unable to bear the journey; also 6 negroes brought here.

During the night of the 2nd there was a large fire at Morehead City, since reported to be the burning of the enemy's stores at that place. About 8 o'clock on the morning of the 4th instant we left Newport Barracks on our return, and the troops reached this city on the 10th.

I cannot close this report without expressing my gratification at the gallant behavior of the troops during the fight and their patient endurance on a march of nearly 240 miles over very heavy roads.

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



Major J. H. HILL,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Dept. of Cape Fear.

Page 86 OPERATIONS IN N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLV.