fifth Massachusetts and formed in line on its left, but were immediately after by your ordered into line of march again.
At this time some 50 men were detached, under orders purporting and believed to come from Major-General Foster, to remain at White Hall as sharpshooters. We then proceeded in our proper place and encamped about 6 p.m. Our detachment of sharpshooters all reported to the regiment before morning, with the exception of one, Chapin, of Company I, who was wounded by a rifle-ball from the enemy's sharpshooters in the arm, not dangerously. Our march was resumed in place on the following morning about half past 7 o'clock, and, upon arriving near the line of the Wilmington Railroad, your brigade engaging the enemy, we were ordered up and formed line in support of Belger's battery, in a position taken at first but at once changed before it engaged the enemy, we following it and supporting it in its new position on the brow of a hill commanding the railroad and woods around the railroad bridge. This position we occupied until, the bridge having been burned and the track torn up, the battery retired and we were ordered to follow it en route for New Berne.
Pending, however, forming the line for the march, the enemy reappearing to the right and front of our late position and threatening the battery left to cover our retiring force as well as our flank, we were ordered back and at once formed in rear of the Third Massachusetts. In this position we remained, the men lying down, being subjected to a somewhat annoying fire of the enemy's battery on our left, but without having any opportunity to engage any portion of his force, until under your orders (the enemy's batteries having been either silenced or withdrawn and his infantry retired) we resumed our place in line en route again for New Berne, having at the outset to ford a mill-stream rendered swift and deep by the raising of the flood-gates by the enemy, as we supposed. In this action, and while occupying our position after the renewal of the engagement, I regret to state that we had 1 man (one Wall, of Holyoke, Mass., a member of Company B) mortally wounded and 3 others wounded by the shell of the enemy, the details of which I give in paper marked A, appended hereto.* Continuing our march, we encamped with the rest of your brigade about 10 o'clock p.m. at our camping ground of the previous night, and, resuming our march on the following morning at 8 o'clock, reached camp at about 11 o'clock p.m. after a march toilsome and harassing to the men to the last degree.
Resuming our march at 8 o'clock a.m. on the following day, after a comparatively easy march of some 12 miles we encamped about 6 miles below Kinston, passing down the river road. Resuming our march in our place in line on the day following, at 8 o'clock a.m., we again encamped at 6 o'clock some 13 miles from New Berne, on the Trent road, and from this place our ambulances without halting were sent forward under charge of Major James H. Waterman, surgeon of our regiment, then in charge of the ambulance train, to New Berne, our wagons following at early morning in advance of the brigade. Resuming our march at 7 o'clock a.m. we arrived at New Berne and our camping ground about 2 o'clock p.m., the men very foot-sore and weary, otherwise in good condition and spirits. I am happy to be able to state that from my careful observation of the men under my command, both under the trials of toilsome marches and the excitement of anticipated engagement with the enemy, I believe you have in them a body upon whom you may with confidence rely should occasion require you to use them in any
*Nominal list omitted. See p.60.