Today in History:

101 Series I Volume XXXIII- Serial 60 - New Berne


Numbers 15. Report of Brigadier General Thomas L. Clingman, C. S. Army, commanding brigade.


MAJOR: I have been prevented from complying with the order in the circular of the 21st ultimo from the fact that at the time it was received by me one of the regiments (the Eighth) was detached from my command, and it was not until this morning that I was able to obtain the statement of its casualties required. As I was compelled to give a full report of casualties, and state particularly whether I lost any prisoners, I was compelled to delay the report. In obedience to orders received during the previous night, on the morning of the 29th of January last I, with two regiments of my brigade (the Eighth, commanded by Colonel H. M. Shaw, and the Fifty-first, by Colonel H. McKethan), took the railroad trains for Kinston, N. C., at which place I arrived on the evening of the 30th, and advanced 5 miles toward New Berne.

In obedience to orders from Major-General Pickett, on the next day I followed with my command General Hoke's brigade, which was in the advance of the column, and rest for a part of the night about 12 miles this side of New Berne.

Having been ordered to follow immediately General Hoke's command and support him, on the morning of February 1, I moved forward with my command. Owing to the delay at Batchelder's Creek and to the darkness of the night, I, with the front of my command, passed the rear of General Hoke's, which was resting on the right side of the road. While in this position, within 200 or 300 yards of the creek, Colonel Shaw, who was with me at the head of his regiment, was instantly killed by one of the enemy's shots from the opposite side of the stream. This most unfortunate casualty rendered it necessary that Lieutenant Colonel J. M. Whitson should assume the command of the regiment. When at a late hour the passage of Batchelder's Creek had been effected, my command followed General Hoke's closely until we reached the point where the railroad was intersected by the road along which we had been advancing. I them received orders from Major-General Pickett to take the advance and move along the road, to be followed and supported by General Hoke's brigade. I was merely instructed to be particularly on my guard against any attack that might be made on my left from the direction of the town of New Berne, and General Hoke, having been previously acquainted with the localities there, was instructed to accompany me. After moving along the road until within nearly a mile of the town, my brigade merged to the right, keeping a direction nearly parallel to the line of the enemy' fortifications on the front of the town. The enemy were not encountered until we had advanced to a position within 600 or 800 yards of the Trent road. There they were in position with a regiment of cavalry and some field artillery, supported also by what appeared to be a small infantry force ont heir rear to the city. Their cavalry dashed forward to charge us, but were repulsed by my skirmishers without getting near enough to receive the volley of the brigade. Their field pieces then opened upon us, chiefly with spherical case-shot, but the men were directed to lie down, and there being a little swell in the ground in front, little or no injury was sustained by us. Their cavalry started forward several times, but whenever our line rose to its feet