the picket guard, that the enemy was advancing on the country road to our right.
About 6.30 or 7 a.m. the fire of the enemy began beyond our right and continued vigorously during the entire engagement. The fire was immediately returned by the artillery stationed beyond the right of the Twenty-seventh and continued unabated. I commanded the regiment to retain their fire until ordered to fire by me.
A short time after the firing began on the right the bombardment again began from the gunboats of the enemy, directed principally toward Fort Thompson and the portion of the breastworks behind which the Twenty-seventh was stationed. Thus situated, the regiment manfully and cheerfully sustained the shower of shell and shot from the gunboats for two and a half hours, during which but 1 man was killed and 3 stunned.
Between 10 and 11 a.m. I discovered that the troops stationed immediately on the right of the Twenty-seventh were falling back, which movement I discovered was being followed by two or three companies of the Twenty-seventh, on the right. I immediately hastened to my right and ordered the two retreating companies back to the trenches. I then gave my entire command the order to fire by file, designating at the same time the direction in which I perceived the enemy advancing in great numbers.
I then hastened to meet you, whom I perceived advancing along the lines to the left. You informed me that our right had been turned and I must fall back. I then ordered the regiment to retire, which was done in tolerable order by most of the companies on the left. I ordered those companies which were together to march through Camp Gatlin to the railroad bridge, where the greater part of the right assembled and halted. I hastened then to the left, beyond Camp Fisher, to find out what were the plans of our troops, supposing that a stand was to be made at that point. Finding our forces retreating, I returned to the right and passed with them over the bridge to the railroad depot, where the companies were again formed, agreeably to orders I had received from the assistant adjutant-general.
At the depot we were ordered to fall back still farther, when I placed the regiment on the march toward Kinston, under command of my senior captain. I joined the regiment again where the railroad is crossed by the county road above New Berne, and again joined them at Tuscarora, whence I proceeded with them to Kinston, partly on foot and partly by means of the cars which were sent back to take us up.
From the reports of the captains of my command I obtained the following particulars. There were in-
Killed. Wounded. Missing.
Company A 1 --- 1
Company B 1 --- 1
Company C 1 --- 2
Company D --- 2 15
Company E 1 3 22
Company F, all present --- --- ---
Company G --- *3 1
Company H --- --- +9
Total 4 8 51
Company I.-The majority of this company followed the captain to Jones County.
Company K.-Two companies officers and all the company but 30 supposed to be in Goldsborough.