another elevation, when we came to the railroad, just below the brick-yard. Then, with General Parke at our head, we pushed on, passed in rear of the breastworks of the enemy, and as we came upon the high open ground behind it we came under a raking fire from the rifle pits across the railroad and the brick-yard, where the enemy lay in large force.
We pushed on at the double-quick until we came under cover of the trees, where we formed in line of battle and prepared to charge on the enemy in the battery. As they had retired, I was ordered first to send one company and afterward the whole battalion, and to proceed cautiously and find out what the firing was on our left. I sent the adjutant ahead to find out the direction we should take. as it was pointed our by the general's aide, Lieutenant Lydig, we passed down into a hollow and ascended the left-hand side cautiously until we reached the brow of the elevation, when we came in view of the enemy and immediately opened upon them a brisk fire, which immediately had an effect, for their fire slackened and stopped when we ceased firing. We opened upon them two or three times afterward until we were afraid of firing upon the Fourth Rhode Island, who were advancing upon them on our right. When the Fourth charged upon them we ceased firing and awaited orders.
It was on this hill that we met with the greater part of our loss. As we had no colors, I was ordered to follow in the rear of the Eighth Connecticut, and leaving a few to take care of the killed and wounded we passed down to the railroad, and at 11 o'clock took up our line of march for the city of New Berne. When we reached the main road, which crossed the railroad, we turned to the left, and continued our march until we received orders to halt and take possession of a rebel camp off to the right from the road which had been occupied by the rebel artillery.*
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major, Commanding First Bat. Fifth Regiment Rhode Island Vols.
CHARLES T. GARDNER,
Numbers 20. Reports of Brigadier General L. O'B. Branch, C. S. Army.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF PAMLICO,
March 15, 1862.
GENERAL: On Wednesday (12th) at 4 p. m. it was made known to me that the enemy ware ascending Neuse River in force. Under cover of their gunboats they effected a landing of troops in the rear of the Croatan breastwork Thursday morning, they compelling me to evacuate that position. I instantly threw behind the Fort Thompson breastwork every available man under my command and prepared to wait there the enemy's farther advance.
On Friday morning, at about 7 o'clock, I was assailed by overwhelming
*Nominal list of casualties shows 1 officer (Lieutenant Henry R. Pierce) and 1 man killed and 8 men wounded.