War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0235 Chapter XX. BATTLE OF NEW BERNE, N. C.

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by the enemy. The brigade quartermaster and commissary, Captain J. N. King, then reported to me that the enemy still occupied rifle pits alongside the railroad and back of the brick-yard and a series of redoubts extending beyond the railroad and in General Reno's front. I then had the Fourth Rhode Island Regiment brought up, and ordered the colonel to drive the enemy from his position. This order was executed in a most gallant manner. Although exposed to a heavy and severe fire, killing and wounding most valuable officers and men, the regiment charged the enemy in flank, while a simultaneous charge was made by General Reno in front, thus driving the enemy from his last stronghold.

The brigade then marched directly up the railroad toward New Berne. As we approached it was soon evident, from the dense columns of smoke, that the bridge over the Trent and the city had been fired. By direction of the commanding general I left the railroad at the county-road crossing, and continued up the county road, to secure, if possible, that bridge over the Trent. Before reaching the bridge I received an order to halt the brigade and select ground for a bivouac. In our immediate vicinity I found threee encampment just abandoned by the enemy. They attempted to burn their tents, quarters, and stores, but owing to their hasty retreat they only partially succeeded. The fire was soon checked, and I secured good quarters, tents, and shelter for the entire brigade. Property of different kinds-arms, horses, camp equipage, horse equipments, and one caisson-were here captured. I directed the regimental quartermasters to make an inventory of the property and hand it to the brigade quartermaster.

In concluding this report I take great pleasure in expressing my thanks to every officer and soldier in the brigade. During the hard and fatiguing march of the 13th and the trying bivouac of that night not a murmur was heard. On the morning of the 14th all seemed as fresh and as ready as if they had just left the most comfortable encampment. All were under fire, and the officers seemed proud of the men they were leading and the men showed they had full confidence in their officers.

For the details of the movements of the regiments I have respectfully to refer you to the reports of the regimental commanders, to which are appended lists of the killed and wounded. I mourn the loss of the gallant dead and the wounded have my heart-felt sympathy.

My person staff, Captain Charles T. Gardner, assistant adjutant-general; Captain John N. King, brigade quartermaster and commissary; and Lieuts. M. Asbury Hill and Philip M. Lydig, jr., volunteer aides, were indefatigable in their exertions and rendered most valuable aid and assistance. They conveyed orders, brought timely reports, and made reconnaissances of the enemy, and although at times greatly exposed, I am happy to report all escaped untouched. Acting Brigade Surgeon Rivers entered upon his duties immediately on the commencement of the action and remained on the field throughout the day and night and was unremitting in his care of the wounded.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General Volunteers.


Asst. Adjt. General, Department of North Carolina.