On the 14th instant, the regiment being on the march toward Kinston, I received orders from Major Hoffman, chief of the staff of the general commanding, to advance into the wood on the south side of the Neuse River to support the troops of Wessells' brigade, then engaged and said to be hard pressed. I was directed to act under General Wessells' orders. In compliance with this order the regiment proceeded along the road until directed by General Wessells to file to the right, when in proceeded to enter a wood, which, as afterward appeared, was exposed to a cross-fire from the enemy. Upon entering the wood the regiment opened fire upon the enemy, who were found to be in front and whose fire for a time was very sharp. The regiment continued to advance, occasionally lying down to rest and to avoid the enemy's fire when hottest, and finally, after penetrating the wood, it found that the enemy had fled.
I should add that the Tenth Connecticut Regiment, during one of the periods when this regiment was halted, advanced gallantly through the wood to its assistance, and both regiments penetrated the wood at nearly the same time.
The conduct of the troops was excellent throughout. The action continued for more than an hour, during which time the regiment suffered a loss of 1 corporal and 12 men killed, or who have died of their wounds, and 1 sergeant, 5 corporals, and 38 privates wounded.
On the 16th, in the battle near White Hall, this regiment was ordered by Colonel Amory, commanding the brigade, to form upon the White Hall road, to act as circumstances might require. By further order from Colonel Amory the men were directed to lie down. The regiment did not move from its place during the action except to take position a few feet in the rear of the road, but nevertheless met with some casualties, sustaining a loss of 1 sergeant and 3 privates killed, and 2 sergeants, 2 corporals, and 12 privates wounded. The conduct of the men was in this instance also admirable.
I beg to add that, from the statements of prisoners and from other circumstances, I am satisfied that in the battle of Kinston it was the fire of this regiment that first made untenable the position of the enemy upon the road on the south side of the Neuse River.
The present effective state of the eight companies now in camp at New Berne is 29 officers and 582 men, and of the companies at Morehead City and Fort Macon 4 officers and 181 men; a total of 33 officers and 763 men.
I have the honor to be, respectfully,
CHARLES R. CODMAN,
Colonel, Commanding Forty-fifth Massachusetts Militia.
Lieutenant E. T. PARKINSON,
A. A. A. G., First Brigadier, Dept. of North Carolina.
No. 17. Report of Colonel August B. R. Sprague; Fifty-first Massachusetts Infantry.
HDQRS. FIFTY-FIRST MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS,
Foster Barracks, New Berne, N. C., December 21, 1862.
In obedience to Department General Orders, No. 77, and Brigade General Orders, No. 31, I reported, with my command, 778 rank and file, on the Trent road in light marching order at 7 o'clock on the morning
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