and Colonel James Jourdan, together with two batteries of artillery, under the command of Major Stone, and four companies of cavalry, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Lewis, left New Berne on the morning of the 6th instant, and after marching over good roads with no difficult streams to cross, making 18 miles, bivouacked for the night in a large open field on high dry ground contiguous to an abundance of wood and excellent water.
The men of the several infantry regiments, viz, the One hundred and seventy-first, One hundred and fifty-eighth, One hundred and sixty-eighth, and One hundred and seventy-fifth Pennsylvania Militia, comprising Brigadier-General Spinola's command, and the One hundred and fifty-eighth and One hundred and thirty-second New York Volunteers, together with the Third Massachusetts Militia, commanded by Colonel Jourdan, bore the march exceedingly well; none sick; a few complaining of sore feet, occasioned by ill-fitting boots.
The second day the regiment left camp in light marching order, traveled 6 miles and returned to the camp of the previous night, the route being over a dry sandy road with no formidable streams to pass. After a half of two hours, to enable the men to rest and prepare their rations, the march was resumed over a road about 3 miles of which was through low swampy ground. At 8 o'clock p.m., after accomplishing 22 miles, encamped on high dry ground adjacent to wood and running water. On this day's march the men suffered considerably from blistered feet; none, however, reported sick.
The next morning, March 8, at daybreak broke camp, and leaving the One hundred and sixty-eighth Pennsylvania and Third Massachusetts Militia as a guard to the wagon train, crossed White Oak River and traveled 14 miles; bivouacked in a pine grove 5 miles from the junction of the Swansborough and New Berne Cross-Roads, near to a full supply of good water. Next day at 1 p.m. resumed the line of march and returned to our former camping ground at White Oak River.
At 7 o'clock on the morning of the 10th the column took up its direction homeward. During the early part of the day the road were excellent, but heavy rain setting in about noon rendered them heavy and the march very fatiguing; nevertheless the various regiments reached their camps about 8.30 p.m., and no stragglers reported.
The entire march was performed in good order and unattended with any casualty; very few men were sufficiently sick to be conveyed in ambulances; the principal complaint was sore feet, the result of chafing, confined almost entirely to those who wore heavy boots. The contrast in this respect between the boot and Government shoe was very marked and exhibited the superiority of the latter and absolute necessity of every infantry soldier substituting it for the boot on the march. Frequent bathing with cold water afforded great relief, and on the last day's march of 22 miles but little complaint was heard. The rations provided for the regiments were abundant and of excellent quality. Fresh beef was furnished three days out of five.
This report is written on the second day after the return of the troops, and the effects of the march on the physical condition and health of the men appear to be more beneficial than otherwise. The sick reports from the various regiments this morning are even less than usual.
P. B. RICE,
Captain S. W. WALDRON,