and was supported by the remainder of the brigade, by order of General Parke, planting their colors upon the parapet.
The brigade then moved rapidly down the line of intrenchments, the Fourth Rhode island leading, clearing it of the enemy as they advanced and capturing their guns. General Foster, seeing our forces inside of the enemy's lines, immediately ordered his brigade to charge, when the whole line of breastwork between the railroad and the river were by this combined movement of the two brigades most gallantly carried, the enemy retreating in the great possible confusion. After the cheers of our men had subsided it wad discovered from the sharp firing on our left that General Reno was still engaged with the enemy, upon which General Parke moved back, with a view, if possible, of getting in the rear of the enemy's forces in the intrenchments to the left of the railroad. General Foster also moved forward with one of his regiments farther to the right, with a view to getting in their rear. General Parke, having reached an advantageous position to the right of the brick-kiln and in rear of the redans, by a heavy fire very much staggered the enemy, when General Reno ordered the Fifty-first Pennsylvania, Colonel Hartranft, to charge the enemy's line, which charge was supported by the remainder of his brigade, causing the enemy to desert his works in great confusion.
At this juncture General Foster appeared in their rear with one of his regiments, thus cutting off their retreat, and received from Colonel Avery an unconditional surrender of himself and over 200 men. The Twenty-first Massachusetts was left in charge of the prisoners. The remaining force at that point moved along the railroad directly for New Berne. In the mean time I had conducted the four regiments of General Foster's brigade on the county road in pursuit of the enemy, and at the crossing of the county road and railroad the column came together, General Foster's brigade consolidated and moved on, General Reno's brigade following. I ordered General Parke's brigade to follow the county road, and if possible save the bridge over the Trent from destruction. I then joined the head of General Foster's brigade, and soon after discovered that the railroad bridge and part of the city were on fire. Upon arriving at the head of the bridge I halted the brigades, and after visiting the city, in company with Generals Foster and Reno and consulting with Commodore Rowan, I ordered General Foster to move across to the city and occupy it. Having discovered that the draw of the county bridge had been destroyed, I sent an order to General Parke to proceed no farther, but to bivouac for the night.
Of what has happened since that time I have already sent you detailed accounts. For a more perfect understanding of the exact movements of the different brigades I beg to refer you to the very accurate reports of my brigadier-generals. I also beg to refer you to the report of Captains Williamson and to the accompanying sketch* for a more accurate knowledge of the nature and position of the enemy's intrenchments as well as our own position in the battle. The endurance and courage displayed by our officers and men from the moment they landed at Slocum's Creek until they reached New Berne was beyond anything I could have expected. The road from the landing to Croatan, a distance of 6 miles, was newly cut, and consequently almost impassable, and continually rendered worse by the rain, the march of the troops, and the wheels of the artillery.
I have before mentioned that the rear of the column, with the artillery,