War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0046 NORTH CAROLINA AND S. E. VIRGINIA. Chapter XXX.

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resistance possible, took refuge in the custom-house. The artillery was planted so as to fire upon us there, by which means considerable damage was done. The town was fired in many places, and this morning is pretty much destroyed, including the building used for headquarters and all things therein.

At the third discharge of the enemy's artillery the gunboat Southfield received a shot through the boiler, which disabled her, but her captain kept up as brisk firing as his crippled condition would allow. The gunboat Commodore Perry hearing the firing came to our assistance, but was too late, as the enemy had left.

At roll-call this morning some 30 men were missing; several are wounded, one dangerously. I am in hopes some of the missing will come in, but some are no doubt prisoners. A number of the enemy are known to have been shot, as they were seen to fall, but were carried away by their comrades.

Further particulars will be forwarded as soon as we can obtain them.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

B. EWER, JR.,

Captain, Commanding Post.

General FOSTER.

HEADQUARTERS,

Plymouth, N. C., December 11, 1862 - 7 p. m.

SIR: I send this in addition to my first (yesterday's) report of the attack upon this place. The attack was made by cavalry, infantry, and artillery, their combined force being greatly superior to our own. By their artillery they were enabled to cripple the only gunboat (Southfield) then near the town, and to inflict considerable injury upon the customhouse, where the greater part of our forces had taken refuge.

After the Southfield had drifted a short distance down the river she was met by the Commodore Perry, who towed her up, and the two boats now lie opposite the town. The rebels had already left after having been here over an hour.

The town is more than half burned. All the principal buildings on the street where the hotel was situated are gone. Everything in headquarters was burned, including the record of those who had taken the oath of allegiance, and some muster and pay rolls which were to be forwarded to other garrisons in this part of the State. Company I lost 15 missing, 1 of whom is doubtless killed, and 2 wounded, 1 dangerously.

All this day they have been stationed just outside the town, their pickets being within a mile of the river. We have not sufficient force to warrant an attack upon them, being simply able to perform guard and picket duty, and even this comes so often that it is seriously affecting the health of the men, and in my judgment the necessity of sending more men to assist in that duty is quite apparent, and if we are expected to do anything more than simply to stand watch over the side of the town a much larger force seems indispensable. The citizens are pretty generally fleeing, and not much besides negroes will soon be left. The gunboats are ready, however, and by their assistance we will try to give the rebels a reception worthy of the cause, should they again become the attacking party.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

B. EWER, JR.,

Captain, Commanding Post.

General FOSTER.