colonel, who, with one company and portions of other companies at my command, formed in rear of my center.
Meantime I had dispatched my adjutant to Colonel Campbell, my commanding officer, to communicate to him the real condition of my regiment-exposed to the flanking fire of the enemy. The colonel having arrived and having surveyed my position, and the section of Brem's battery near me having by this time ceased to fire, he ordered me to retire with my command in the following words: "You had better take your men out of that as quick as possible"; which order I immediately obeyed. In retiring, however, one of my officers and several of my men were killed and some wounded. This created somewhat of a panic, as the enemy were firing upon us from the railroad and brick-yard; but soon my men rallied and retired in perfect order till we reached that portion of the railroad intersected by the county road, where I formed the into line ready to advance to meet the foe if called upon.
Colonel Lane's regiment, having arrived at this time, relieved me, and I fell back upon New Berne by the railroad bridge.
I again formed my men at the railroad depot, waiting for orders, where Lieutenant-Colonel Barbour, of the Thirty-seventh, having run charge some fragments of his regiment, informed me that the orders were to fall back by the Kinston road. This I did in perfect order, until some officers who were retiring with speed along the road informed me that the enemy's cavalry were in force in the rear. AT this juncture Company D, of my regiment, volunteered to become the rear guard of the entire force. Colonel Lee, of the Thirty-seventh, kindly volunteered to command the rear guard, in order to permit me to attend to the balance of my regiment, who were jaded and broken down by exposure, fasting, fighting, and marching since the evening of the 12th instant. My presence was demanded with my regiment by the fact that on the first alarm of the enemy's cavalry being in close proximity my lieutenant-colonel deserted his regiment and sought safety for himself. The alarm proving false the guard was dismissed, and I conducted my regiment to Tuscarora, where I joined portions of the Twenty-seventh and Thirty-seventh Regiments and fragments from the other regiments engaged in the affair of the 14th instant, and took command until the arrival of General Branch.
In conclusion I have only to add that, with the exception above referred to, all my officers and men behaved well.
Special praise is due to Company D, commanded by Captain Lasater, for the alacrity with which they volunteered to defend our retreating columns when the enemy's cavalry was reported to be upon us.
I am indebted for efficient services to Major O. C. Pettway and Adjt. Thomas J. Oates.
Casualties of the battle: One officer, Lieutenant Hale, and 4 privates were killed, 11 privates wounded, and 9 missing.
I have the honor to be, colonel, respectfully, your obedient servant,
No. 28. Report of Colonel Charles C. Lee, Thirty-seventh North Carolina Infantry.
MARCH 16, 1862.
GENERAL: In compliance with your orders I herewith submit respectfully