NOVEMBER 11, 1862.- Demonstration on New Berne, N. C.
Numbers 1.- Colonel Thomas J. C. Amory, Seventeenth Massachusetts Infantry, commanding Brigade.
Numbers 2.- Captain J. Waldo Denny, Twenty-fifth Massachusetts Infantry.
Numbers 2.- Lieutenant James M. Drennan, Twenty-fifth Massachusetts Infantry.
Numbers 4.- Lieutenant Henry M. Richter, Twenty-fifth Massachusetts Infantry.
Numbers 5.- Captain John F. Moschell, Third New York Cavalry.
Numbers 1. Report of Colonel Thomas J. C. Amory, Seventeenth Massachusetts Infantry, commanding Brigade.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE, FIRST DIVISION,
New Berne, N. C., November 12, 1862.
MAJOR: I have the honor to state, for the information of the general commanding, that on yesterday evening a report reached me that a force of the enemy, composed of infantry, artillery, and cavalry, estimated as being a brigade of at least four or five regiments, had made its appearance in front of our pickets retired in this direction, their supposed intention being an attack on New Berne during the temporary absence of a portion of our forces. I had returned from Plymouth with a portion of my brigade only a few hours previous, and Colonel Kurtz, Twenty-third Massachusetts, supposing himself still in command of the post, failed to communicate immediately to me the information he had received of the enemy's advance, but meanwhile, as he afterward reported to me, took the precaution to warm the gunboats and troops here to be in readiness. Major Garrard, Third New York Cavalry, with the two mountain howitzers, had also been sent out on the Neuse road.
Toward 9 o'clock p. m. Colonel Kurtz, by my order, reported to me, and at the same time Lieutenant-Colonel Mix, commanding Third New York Cavalry, gave me an account of the disposition already made of our forces, and confirmed the information I had previously received as to the force of the enemy.
At this time the only regiments which had returned from Plymouth were the Seventh, Twenty-fourth, part of the Twenty-third, and about 150 men of the Forty-fourth Massachusetts. None of the artillery had yet arrived.
To make the best possible disposition according to my judgment of the small force then at my disposal, I withdrew all the pickets on the Trent road, picketing the line of the edge of woods in front of Fort Totten, extending the line from the Trent to the Neuse River, keeping mounted patrols on the Neuse road as far as the cross-road to railroad, withdrawing the remainder of cavalry with mounted howitzers. I was unaware at this time that the railroad monitor was with the two companies of infantry at the bridge, 9 miles from town. As soon as possible I sent orders for this force to fall back, but in the mean time the enemy had got between them and New Berne, having cut them off by the cross-road from Trent road past the red house. At about 2 o'clock a. m. these companies were attacked, 1 man killed and 2 wounded of the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts, and the enemy dispersed by a shell thrown from the monitor.