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102 Series I Volume XXXIII- Serial 60 - New Berne

Page 102 OPERATIONS IN N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLV.

they halted and retired. Thinking it advisable to attack the enemy and drive them within the fortifications of the town, and occupy the Trent road, I requested General Hoke to bring up his brigade to my support, it being then nearly a mile to the rear. He returned for that purpose, but after waiting nearly an hour without hearing from him, I sent two of my staff in succession to request that at least a section of artillery should be brought up to my assistance. While in this position the heavy batteries of Fort Totten opened on us. As this fortress, represented to be the strongest in the town of New Berne, and armed with not less than fifteen guns of large caliber, was not more than three-quarters of a mile distant, and had a complete enfilading fire on us, had their practice been good we must have sustained serious injury; in point of fact, however, their fire proved nearly harmless. After retaining this position for two or three hours, I was informed that the artillery could not be brought forward. General Hoke did not come up with his command, and I was soon after ordered to retire. As, in addition to the fire of the heavy batteries, we were confronted with the enemy's cavalry, field artillery, and infantry, I withdrew my command slowly by sections, and occupied successively such positions as would enable us to repel an attack if suddenly made by the cavalry.

it gives me great pleasure to be able to state that, though exposed on the flank and front to artillery fire and threatened constantly with attack by the enemy's cavalry and infantry, the troops under my command performed the movements ordered with as much coolness and precision as I ever saw them when on drill.

After retiring, I was instructed to occupy the ground in front of the railroad crossing, within the range of the enemy's fire from the forts, and on each night of our bivouacking there I sent forward for the distance of 1 mile strong detachments to guard against any attack that the enemy might make. In obedience to orders, these detachments were withdrawn about 1 o'clock on the morning of the 3rd, and my brigade returned with the rest of the command to the vicinity of Kinston.

The casualties in my brigade were small in number, but the loss of Colonel Shaw in deeply to be deplored. Equally remarkable for his attention to all the duties of his position and for the coolness, self-possession, and courage in the field, I know no one filling a similar station whose loss would inflict a greater injury to the service than that sustained in his fall.

In conclusion, I have to state that there was not a single instance of desertion or straggling from my command during the expedition, and every officer and private seems to have acted creditably on all occasions.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, yours, &c.,




Numbers 16. Report of Colonel John Taylor Wood, C. S. Army.

RICHMOND, February 8, 1864.

GENERAL: I report to you the result of the late operations near New Berne.

Leaving Kinston at noon on the 31st ultimo, we reached New

Page 102 OPERATIONS IN N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLV.