On Monday, the 15th, the march was resumed.
On the 16th our forces were engaged at White Hall. My regiment, though within range of the enemy's guns, was not engaged, but marching by the flank through the fields in the rear of our batteries we took up the line of march for Goldsborough. At this time I was called upon to furnish sharpshooters for duty on the banks of the river in clearing the woods on the other side of the enemy's riflemen. About 100 of my men volunteered for this dangerous duty. After being posted they rendered effective service. One man was here shot through the head and severely wounded.
On the 17th the line of march was resumed, the Third Brigade having the advance. Late in the morning skirmishing with the enemy's pickets commenced, which continued until we came upon their main force posted this side of the railroad bridge crossing the Neuse River. I was ordered forward to be in readiness to support the Seventeenth Massachusetts and the Ninth New Jersey, who were sharply engaged with the enemy. I moved forward in line of battle, taking position on the right of the railroad in the rear of the Twenty-seventh Massachusetts and quite near our batteries. I remained in this position till the bridge was burnt and the railroad torn up, when my regiment was withdrawn from the field. In a short time the enemy again made his appearance, advancing in two lines of battle with evident design of charging upon and taking one of our batteries. Receiving orders to again move into the field I advanced by the flank at double-quick and was assigned position in the rear of the Twenty-seventh Massachusetts and on the left and supporting Belger's battery. I ordered my men to lie down, and though exposed to a severe fire from the enemy which we had no chance to return yet the men behaved with perfect coolness. While in this position we sustained a loss of 1 killed and 3 wounded. Night brought an end to the contest, and we were withdrawn, and took up the line of march for New Berne, which we reached on Sunday, the 21st, and went into camp on our old ground.
I cannot end without mentioning in terms of the highest praise the conduct of both officers and men during the whole expedition. On the march, in the bivouac, under fire, in everything that they were called upon to perform they showed all the qualities of the true soldier, and their conduct merits and receives my heartiest commendations.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant GEORGE W. BARTLETT,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Brigade.
No. 22. Report of Lieutenant Colonel William S. Shurtleff, Forty-sixth Massachusetts Infantry.
HDQRS. FORTY-SIXTH MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS,
New Berne, N. C., December -, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report that in pursuance of your Orders, Numbers 18, dated December 10, 1862, the Forty-sixth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Militia left its camping ground and entered upon its place in line of march at 7 o'clock on the morning of Thursday, December 11, 1862,