War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0466 OPERATIONS IN NORTH CAROLINA. Chapter XX.

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HEADQUARTERS, Tarborough, N. C., April 26, 1862.

Major General T. H. HOLMES,

Commanding Department of North Carolina:

GENERAL: James A. Corey and W. G. Andrews, two men who were wounded at Hatteras and have been prisoners at Annapolis, arrived inside our lines from New Berne last night. They left New Berne on Wednesday last. They have been confined in the jail there for two weeks, but have been permitted to converse freely with the soldiers and to walk about for a limited time each day. They were furnished by General Burnside with passports to cross the river, which they did at New Berne, and saw no enemy's pickets on this side. What they relate is not of their own knowledge, but the substance of numerous conversations with the soldiers. They were examined separately and agree in nearly every particular. Their statement is, General Burnside left New Berne on Wednesday morning with all the gunboats but two, and 1,300 men. There is but one regiment in the town. About 9,000 troops around the town at Fair Grounds, across Trent, and at Deep Gully. They were expecting an attack from the Confederate forces . The opinion expressed was that General Holmes could take the town, but could not hold it. General Burnside declared his intention his intention to be to reduce Fort Macon at once, making a "breakfast spell" of it, and then to go immediately to Kinston and Goldsborough. This was spoken of by every one they conversed with. Never heard Wilmington mentioned; the talk was always Fort Macon, Kinston, Goldsborough. No re-enforcements but those previously reported by me. The small-pox was spreading among the troops and many were dying with it.

These men are reliable and honest in their intentions. They have served under me, and I know them well. I have a man in an oyster boat gone to Core Island, and hope to hear direct from Fort Macon by Wednesday next.

Very truly, your obedient servant,


Captain, Tenth Regiment North Carolina Artillery, Commanding

P. S.-Since I wrote the above my messenger has got in from Albemarle Sound. Six gunboats are still at Elizabeth City with the expedition to destroy the canal. They are probably awaiting re-enforcements to attack Colonel Wright again. No increase in gunboats or troops at Roanoke Island. Some of the citizens went from Washington County to Roanoke Island to get the enemy to send forces to Plymouth. They have not returned. A company of cavalry is needed there to arrest such men and keep the people quiet. Eight citizens went. No gunboats in the sound except those at Elizabeth City.

Very truly, yours,


Captain, Tenth Regiment North Carolina Artillery, Commanding


General R. E. LEE,


GENERAL: I have tried to make out a report of the battle near South Mills on 19th.* I have given a detailed account of the arrangement of


*See p. 326.