In regard to the behavior of my regiment generally, I am scarcely willing to mention particular instances of gallantry where all did their duty. Observing a large portion of the regiment myself, and making diligent inquiry as to the rest, I could learn of but one man in all my command who remembered that he had legs until after the command to retreat was given. They were the last of our troops to leave the field.
I cannot conclude this report without mentioning in terms of the highest praise the spirit of determination and power of endurance evinced by the troops during the hardships and sufferings of our march. Drenched with rain, blistered feet, without sleep, many sick and wounded, and almost naked, they toiled on through the day and all the weary watches of the night without murmuring, cheerfully and with subordination, evincing most thoroughly those high qualities in adversity which military men learn to value still more than courage upon the field.
I have the honor to be, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
Z. B. VANCE,
Colonel, Commanding Twenty-sixth North Carolina Vols.
General L. O'B. BRANCH,
Commanding District of Pamlico.
No. 25. Report of Major John A. Gilmer, jr., Twenty-seventh North Carolina Infantry.
KINSTON, N. C., March 16, 1862.
SIR: I most respectfully submit the following report of the part borne in the engagement of the 14th instant at the breastworks adjoining Fort Thompson, N. C., by the Twenty-seventh Regiment North Carolina troops, then under my command:
On the morning of the 13th, pursuant to orders from your headquarters, I marched the Twenty-seventh Regiment to the river bank, about 100 yards above Fort Thompson, arriving about an hour before daybreak. Forming the regiment in line of battle at that point I awaited orders.
About 7 o'clock I received orders to retire a short distance toward the river, to avoid any shot and shell that might be thrown in the direction of Fort Thompson. The regiment was immediately moved a short distance to the left and rear.
While in this position I received orders to march the regiment to the breastworks and line and same on the left near Fort Thompson, which was immediately done. The regiment remained (covering the breastworks, principally in one rank, for the distance of 300 or 400 yards from Fort Thompson) all the day and night of the 13th; were aroused and placed in position at the works twice during the night. Numbers of shell and shot were thrown from the gunboats of the enemy during the evening of the 13th, most of which, however, passed beyond the works.
On the morning of the 14th the regiment was again placed in position to await the approach of the enemy, whom I supposed to be in force in the woods in front of the works. I was informed by Captain Barden, whose company had been sent out the evening before as a portion of
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